review by Bobby Blakey
I love horror films of all kinds, but my all time favorite franchise is that of SAW. Director Darren Lynn Bousman took over the franchise with parts 2, 3 and 4. Since then he has offered some other great additions the horror market including Repo! The Genetic Opera, Mother’s Day and Abattoir. Now he is heading to the church with his latest St. Agatha starring Sabrina Kern, Carolyn Hennesy, and Courtney Halverson, but does it offer up something truly terrifying or should it be exorcised?
St. Agatha follows a 1950's small town in Georgia where a pregnant con woman on the run seeks refuge in a convent hidden in deafening isolation. What first starts out as the perfect place to have a child turns into a dark layer where silence is forced, ghastly secrets are masked, and every bit of will power Agatha has is tested. She soon learns the sick and twisted truth of the convent and the Odd people that lurk inside its halls. Agatha must now find a way to discover the unyielding strength needed to escape and save her baby before she's caged behind these walls forever.
Going into this film I admit that the only reason I watched it was Bousman’s involvement as I expected yet another supernatural church haunting type of thing, but thankfully I was so wrong. This is a great film that offers up realism while still being pretty out there at times and some truly creepy and often times disturbing imagery. The story is compelling as it unfolds as the viewer tries to figure out where it is all heading. To me it came across more like Agnes of God on crack with a horrific twist. It doesn’t play up so much as a scary flick, but instead one that plays up the realism for more disturbing effect and works great.
I was so happy in the directions this film took with one specific moment at the end had me cheering for them to go through with what it looked to be setting up and then knock it out of the park. The overall tone and visuals help to keep the tone throughout without ever really revealing too much initially. The ending might be one that some don’t like, but these are the exact kinds of things I love. There are some pretty gross moments that some may not like, but if you are into horror/thriller films then you should give St. Agatha a try when it hits Theaters, On Demand, and On Digital on February 8th.