Movie Review: The Church (1989)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1989 horror film starring Hugh Quarshie and Asia Argento.

Synopsis: A cathedral is built over the mass grave of those killed in a 12th-century massacre in an effort to keep the demons trapped below. Centuries later, the church's new librarian, looking to uncover the building's secrets, unseals the crypt, allowing the evil to escape and trap a large group of tourists inside the church.


I came across this film on one of our movie channels a couple days ago and, thinking it sounded somewhat interesting, decided to record it and watch it with my wife. We did that over this past weekend and, while the movie sounded good, it turned out to be a pretty big disappointment for us.

One of my biggest complaints about the horror film genre is there are way too many movies that focus more on blood, gore and nudity than they do the actual plot. Movies in that category rarely are scary.

This film, unfortunately, falls in that category. There are quite a few gross-out moments, such as the librarian (Arana) ripping out his heart and a bridal model (Vitale) tearing off her skin. But, there really wasn't anything in this movie that was particularly terrifying.

In fact, some of the creatures, which included everything from a prehistoric fish jumping out of the holy water to a rapist demon, were very fake looking and were much more laughable than scary. This was really too bad too, considering the movie started out being about controlling a somewhat creepy contagion that caused the infected to develop stigmata. If the film focused more on that, I think it would have been a bit more suspenseful.

Another thing I found I didn't like about this movie is it, at times, seemed to drag on. The church's curse does reveal itself relatively early. But, there isn't much that happens from that until toward the end, when the tourists are trapped. Even then, the movie was, once again, a bit more comical (especially since some of the characters were similar to what I would expect to see in a comedy) than scary.

The Church

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Final Opinion

The movie sounded interesting. However, the film never fully capitalizes on what could have been a good plot. That, and the fake-looking creatures, make this a movie that just isn't worth watching.

My Grade: D

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Updated: 06/13/2016, StevenHelmer
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