The Unholy is a horror film directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos, with Sam Raimi as one of the producers. The film stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Katie Aselton, William Sadler, Diogo Morgado and Cricket Brown, alongside other cast members.
In The Unholy, Gerry is your typical run-of-the-mill horror movie protagonist. He’s entitled, stupid, deadbeat and a drunk who has no regards for anyone other than himself. It is, thus, to no one’s surprise that within the first few minutes he pokes his nose into a situation where it does not belong and creates an unnecessary problem that really shouldn’t exist.
We then meet Alice, a deaf and mute girl, who is affected by Gerry’s stupidity. She is seemingly cured by the Virgin Mary and helps others to overcome their illnesses as well. Obviously, this turns into a media frenzy and the Catholic Church gets involved as well. However, as we all might be able to guess, this isn’t the Virgin Mary. It’s Mary Elnor, a woman who sold her soul to Satan and was thus burnt for it. She wants people to pledge their souls to Alice, which in turn will be to Satan, through Mary. That’s quite the chain.
So, anyway, obviously, Gerry plays the hero and saves the day. However, should we call it being a hero when you un-f*ck a situation that you f*cked in the first place? You can’t just pick up a chain-bound, creepy as hell looking doll lying in the bottom of a dead tree and just crush it for your own benefit and then play the hero when it comes back to bite you in the butt. The Unholy tries to play it off like Gerry has changed when, in fact, he has not. Let no one tell you otherwise.
When it comes to the horror aspect, The Unholy is below average. There’s a scene at around the 20-minute mark when Gerry is dreaming of a hooded figure coming out of the water and god does it look fake as all hell. I understand it’s a dream, but it’s just so stupid. The CGI is horrendous. Alice looking at the vision of a woman in white whom she assumes to be the Virgin Mary is just hilarious.
Now, it’s clear that Mary Elnor is trying to hide behind Virgin Mary to enlist some names in Satan’s book and that’s an interesting concept in and of itself but good god does it come up short so badly. There’s no sense of dread, horror or even an ounce of scares in this religious horror film that tries desperately to give us chills and thrills. Honestly, there’s not much to write about this one since it will so dull that I felt nothing other than boredom throughout its 99-minute runtime.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan has this unique ability to find movies such as these that leave little to no impact on the audience. I remember watching The Possession and feeling lost as to whether I was supposed to feel fear in any way. However, this is Cricket Brown’s first major role and she’s good, although she could have benefited from a different movie altogether. The Unholy also features William Sadler and Katie Aselton whose characters are too unremarkable to pass a judgement.
Summing up: The Unholy
The Unholy is unremarkable with really bad visuals. It almost looks cheap which results in the scares really taking a backseat (read: not existing). I won’t be able to forget the visual of Mary Elnor ever – but for all the wrong reasons.
Watch The Unholy here.