Consecration (2023)

I really liked Christopher Smith’s Triangle.

I really, really like occult and Catholic-based horror movies.

Consecration feels like it could be a slam dunk, right?

Adding Jena Malone as the lead seems like the icing on the cake.

Yet why did it all feel so unsatisfying?

Malone is Grace, a woman who has just arrived on the Isle of Skye hoping to learn how and why her priest brother has died. Then she learns that he may have been a killer himself and that, well, the church he was stationed at has a history of weirdness just like this.

And the movie starts with a nun putting a gun in her face before going to the credits. Come on! This is going to be awesome, right?

Oh well.

The Mount Saviour Convent where Grace’s brother lived was founded after the Crusades as penance by an order called the Knights of the Morning Star. You know. Like Lucifer. As a once good Catholic, I’m all for this and want to know more.

Sure, there’s an oddball Mother Superior (Janet Suzman) who washed the little crabs off the deceased priest when he was found on the beach and claimed that he was possessed by a demon. And Father Romero (Danny Huston), who is here to return the convent to a holy place through re-consecration.

But then it gets all exposition and flashback and isn’t sure what kind of movie it wants to be. Sure, it looks gorgeous, but it never seems to go as far as it should. It does get the idea of how imposing and strange religious buildings are, but maybe I’m unfairly comparing this film to gritty — and yes, sleazier — religious horror movies that go absolutely berserk like The DevilsThe Demons, Alucarda and The Other Hell. Maybe I was expecting it to go deep with its revelations like Dark Waters.

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