There are different iterations of horror movies out there. You have your supernatural creeper, your jump scare peeper, and your blood and guts jeeper. (That all worked, right?) From the disgusting to the unnerving, horror is a varied and superior genre that calls on hoards and hoards of fan to delve into its dark heart – devouring it with nary a drop split.
Screening at this year’s Arrow Video Frightfest. Darren Lyn Bousman’s latest gore-fest is a movie that likes to combine all these things creating the greatly named horror sub-genre – nunspolitation. But does it all work?
St. Agatha is a period horror set in the 1950s. It revolves around Mary, a young pregnant woman who has been invited to shelter with a bunch of nuns in a convent out of the city. After series of really shitty circumstances causes her to be destitute, she takes up on the offer and winds up in a weird place instead. Despite the cheery disposition of the sisters (except Paula, who’s consistently a dick,) Mary has the adhere to strict religious rules. She soon discovers that if she speaks out against them, they’ll punish her in many, many horrid ways. When it becomes apparent there is something more sinister afoot, Mary finds ways to desperately escape.
The nunspolitation movie certainly lives up to its name. The film is a brilliant and batshit insane movie that starts off alluring and creepy enough to drawl you in then amps up the madness every minute. Fair play to the women here who are put through some pretty disgusting and awful things. There nuns (led by the smiling and perfectly sinister Carolyn Hennesy as Mother Superior) have a habit of forcing all sorts of hell on the pregnant women and it makes for grim fun. Especially because there are some absolutely shocking moments here. I’ll leave them mostly for a surprise but there is certainly one moment that will have cinema fans frothing at the mouth to talk about afterwards.
St Agatha is led by upcoming Sabrina Kern who does well to convey Mary’s struggles and wide-eyed determination to get the fuck out of all the situations that she was been misled into. Mary really goes through a lot here and Kern is adept at developing at her character. She is absolutely engaging to watch which makes the trauma she experiences that much more hard to watch.
There are some obvious moments and the movie does suffer from its low budget; having a certain camera style and make-shift horror that aren’t skin to polished horror films. But there are enough entrails (literally) to keep those hardcore horror fanatics happy. There’s also brilliant mystery, toying with the possibility of the supernatural or an evil presence, that makes you want to carry on with the toture.
.With some pretty great leading performances and some absolutely mental moments, St. Agatha is an excellent project that has definitely been crafted with a lot of love and certainly with a lot blood.
St. Agatha screened at the Arrow Video Frightfest.
It has no definite UK release day yet.