La Chiesa (The Church) (Cathedral of Demons) (1989)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
When Templar knights find a group of active Satanists worshipping in a remote village, they brutally slay them all and bury their corpses in a huge pit, which they mark with a cross. Later a great cathedral is built there. Centuries pass and the story begins again in modern times. The church is being totally renovated. One man works on the vast library within, while a woman tries to restore the terrifying fresco located on its rear wall. The trouble begins when a workman finds a mysterious parchment that leads the librarian to a talisman. With it, he inadvertently releases the enraged spirits of the slain Satanists who have been patiently awaiting a chance for freedom and bloody and extremely graphic revenge that is not for the squeamish, at least in the unrated version of the film. A slightly toned-down "R"-rated version is also available. … More
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Critic Reviews for La Chiesa (The Church) (Cathedral of Demons)
[Michele] Soavi creates a total, apocalyptic sense of dread that never leaves even the most domestic moments of the film.
Even when the film gets slow, it's nearly impossible to turn away and risk missing the next beautifully framed shot.
Yeah, it's pretty silly -- and yet the film induces a lingering unease that's hard to shake. I lay this at the film's fairly nasty tone and some of the more disturbing images.
I don't know what YOU generally look for in a horror flick, but unless it's "talking and lots of it" I'd stay far away from this one.
Sovai doesn't settle for the easy, opting instead for a more oblique and suggestive, rather than graphic, approach to the material
Audience Reviews for La Chiesa (The Church) (Cathedral of Demons)
The Church was originally going to be part of the Demons series, but it ended up being a totally different film altogether. Directed by Argento protégé. Michele Soavi, The Church is a horror film that relies effectively well on atmosphere to create terror. The film is very stylish, and looks incredible. The story is terrific, and director Michele Soavi keeps the ball rolling by steadily unfolding the terror. This is one of the Dario Argento productions that I have ever seen, and this film is haunting, chilling with hints of the supernatural. The film horrifying atmosphere is elevated by a fantastic score by Keith Emerson & Goblin, credited here as "The Goblins". Dario Argento and director Michele Soavi create a film that is stunning to look at. I've been watching Italian horror for years, and The Church is among the best looking, most atmospheric films that has come along in a long time. This is a true classic, a film that effectively delivers memorable shocks. What really stands out for me, is the way this film looks, the film looks absolutely brilliant. Aided by a good cast, this is one horror flick not to miss out on. The Church is an underrated horror flick that doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves. If you love Dario Argento, then check this one out; even though he doesn't direct it, there's still enough of the maestro's influence to make it live to Argento's own directorial efforts. Director Michele Soavi and producer Dario Argento craft a film that relies on atmosphere and suspense and the harrowing finish is definitely worth it. Ghouls, demons and supernatural elements round out this terrifying memorable tale of chills.
Very much an 80's Italian horror film. A little less gore, perhaps. A little long in the tooth.
A nice slice of Italian horror from the tail end of its golden years about a Demonic plague which is unleashed from the pit of a Church is modern day Germany. This was meant to be an official sequel to Lamberto Bava's 'Demons 2' but it didn't turn out that way, this one is a bit more restrained and less crazy. After the opening medieval massacre the film plods along without much excitement, but things pick up eventually with some decent gore along the way and a demon sex scene! Good musical score and atmospheric locations also give it a bit of class. A very decent film by Soavi but I didn't enjoy it as much as Stagefright.
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