A disgraced journalist investigates a town where a hearing-
impaired girl is magically healed and performing miracles on others.
The Unholy (2021)
Written and Directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos
Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cary Elwes, William Sadler,
Katie Aselton, Chritine Adams, Cricket Brown, Diogo Morgado
Based on the novel Shrine by James Herbert
Studios love to release horror films where the most they got going for it is a cheap budget and a big horror name attached. They especially love to release these films in the dumping months of the film year. Thus, ensuring there is zero competition and easy return on profits. Hence, why I generally avoid films horror films which come out in the beginning of the year. But, with our current situation of the world, I really wanted to see a new horror film in the theaters. This need has brought me to The Unholy. A film which has horror icon Sam Raimi producing it and a pretty stellar, talented cast. Problem is, this is all it really has going for it.
I have to ask, how did such a talented, awesome cast get involved in this? I mean, you got Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cary Elwes, and William Sadler. I love all three of these guys and they are just as good here as anything else I’ve seen them in. Minus the dodgy accents some of them attempt. But everything else around them just doesn’t work. The film makes the creative decision to show the ghost in all its horrific glory. Except, it’s not exactly scary when the CGI looks so bad. It alone makes me wonder how this was accepted for theaters. With that, you also get a horror film which doesn’t know how to set a genuine creepy atmosphere, instead relying on cheap jump scares. My last point before I keep ranting, is this film never really dives into the religious subtext. It constantly seems to be holding back a little.
The Unholy is a hot mess of a studio backed horror film. They did a great job with getting the producer and cast attached. That alone gives it a little bit of good points. But it falls incredibly short thanks to shoddy CGI, zero attempt at creating a creepy atmosphere, and never really diving into its theme. I really hope the bigger horror films I’m looking forward to this year don’t disappoint me.