THE CHURCH * USA 2018 Dir: Dom Frank. 80 mins
A pastor (Bill Moseley) is dealing with pressure from his neighbourhood to sell his church to a real estate development company so they can cash in and sell their properties too. He eventually gives in when the developers offer him a massive bribe, but he needs board approval to sell. They vote yes, which the church (the building, not the congregation) does not like, so it traps them inside and sucks them into oblivion—killing them one by one.
THE CHURCH has a lot going on. A lot. But it also has problems. One of them is, or isn’t, Bill Moseley. It’s hard to say, because he is definitely the most accomplished actor in the cast, but his performance here feels almost improvised. It’s bizarre. In fact, a lot of the actors’ lines felt improvised. They would stutter, mumble, mispronounce words… That, on top of the blurry special effects, hard-to-watch editing, and a seeming endless parade of side characters and plotlines that are too irritating to keep up with, make THE CHURCH an unfrightening, convoluted film.
BUT, and this is a big but, this film also has a sentient building, a ghost monk that can shoot fireballs from his hands, and a woman who gets killed by a money storm. It’s never short of things to look at, or laugh at, and for fans of cheesy 1960s horror like MANOS AND THE HANDS OF FATE, this might be worth a midnight viewing.
Review by Julia Lynch