DVD REVIEW: The Unholy lacks prowess for horror frights

While I’d never say The Unholy is without its merits, this horror film just never seems to decide what kind of story it wants to tell.

Part miracle examination, part a story of being redeemed for past sins, it also tries to become a gimmicky horror film and never quite sticks the landing.

When a deaf young woman receives a visit by the Virgin Mary, she soon realizes she can know hear, speak and heal the wounded instantly. She has a direct line to Mary, and speaks truths to everyone.

Meanwhile, a disgraced, lying journalist is trying to find his next big story, and lands on the young girl. But many wonder if his intentions are pure.

What the journalist soon realizes is he’s let out a supernatural demon that will try to rip everyone apart.

Based on the novel Shrine by James Herbert, we see writer-director Evan Spiliotopoulos adapt this feature for the screen. But he can never quite decide where he wants to go with this story.

The acting is splendid, and the film stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, perhaps best known as the villainous Negan in The walking Dead. As always, he makes a mark here, even if the film around him is humdrum.

Young Cricket Brown takes her biggest role yet with this film and impresses, as do William Sadler, Cary Elwes and Katie Aselton.

The Unholy does have an interesting concept, but it’s not scary enough to be a horror film, and doesn’t stick the landing as a supernatural drama.

Spiliotopoulos needed to choose a lane, and though The Unholy is never boring, it’s hardly the film I expected.

2/5 Stars

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