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La Chiesa (The Church) (Cathedral of Demons) (1989)


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Release Date: Mar 10, 1989 Wide



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 2,367

My Rating

Movie Info

Originally intended as the third chapter in producer Dario Argento's Demons trilogy, La Chiesa stands alone as an effective horror film centering on a haunted cathedral with a violent past. The church's history begins in Medieval Italy, when the Knights Templar massacred an entire village of suspected Satanists and built the structure upon the site of the slain peasants' mass grave. Designed by an architect/alchemist (who was buried alive within his creation), the church is filled with elaborate

Feb 19, 2002

Hemdale Home Video

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All Critics (10) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (3) | DVD (11)

[Michele] Soavi creates a total, apocalyptic sense of dread that never leaves even the most domestic moments of the film.

November 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Even when the film gets slow, it's nearly impossible to turn away and risk missing the next beautifully framed shot.

September 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Juicy Cerebellum
Juicy Cerebellum

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.

October 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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.

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source:

Sovai doesn't settle for the easy, opting instead for a more oblique and suggestive, rather than graphic, approach to the material

June 13, 2002
Q Network Film Desk

There is no denying the dreaminess of Soavi's stream-of-consciousness horror show.

March 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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.
March 3, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

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.
June 26, 2011
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

Everything that I love (and dislike) about Italian horror.

I love the premise of the film, which is that "The Church" is an ancient machine designed to (literally) collapse in upon itself at a moments notice destroying all who have sought shelter inside in various horrific manners.

There are some truly impressive visuals sprinkeled throughout the film.

While it suffers from the usual bad dubbing and questionable music choices, it also contains some very random and confussing narative / plot points.

But all in all I found it to be creepy, gory, cheesy, fun!
October 28, 2010
Robert C

Super Reviewer

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