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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Review: The Church

Director: Dom Frank
Screenplay: Dom Frank
Year: 2019

Synopsis: The pastor of a church starts being pressured by into selling the church that has been in his family for generations to some developers. The pastor ends up agreeing after being corrupted by greed, but the church is willing to punish all the impure souls looking to destroy it.

I considered giving this movie a go because of the simple fact that the legendary Bill Moseley (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”) is among its cast. This was a big mistake on my part, as not even the participation of Moseley is enough to compensate for the disaster that is this movie.

The premise that newbie writer and director Dom Frank presents is interesting. Some developers want to buy a church belonging to a pastor and that has been in his family for years. The pastor doesn’t want to sell it, but fall victim of greed and accepts, which enrages the spirits that inhabit the church and decide to take matters into their own hands. The idea to develop the plot doesn’t sound bad at all, but when it’s time to present it on screen, everything is a disaster without a good way to attach it all together.

Let’s start with the acting. Moseley, being a seasoned actor, does the best he can with the material he’s handed for his character. The rest of the cast, even considering that among them there are some experienced actors such as Clint Howard (“Halloween”) and Lisa Wilcox (“A Nightmare on Elm Street 4”), do a job so nefarious that I even questioned myself if the bad acting was done on purpose. To make matters worse, the dialogues with which they have to work with are bad and repetitive, to the point to where they resemble more a parody than a serious movie. Unluckily, this movie is not aiming at being a parody.

Following up with the script, just to try and make a coherent connection in this movie, it fails in plenty of aspects. Besides the already mentioned dialogues, the development of the plot is also not well done, wondering around unnecessary situations and stretching scenes that have no importance in the plot. This is so serious that the first half of the movie could have been cut down to about 15 minutes and no important information would have been lost.  Something that called my attention is the number of shots of the outside of the church that are placed in, which had no relevance to the story at all.

Frank in his debut as a director shows his lack of experience and budget to develop his idea. The important events of the plot take a lot of time to take place and when they happen, they are so predictable that are rendered ineffective. And when you think that things could be no worse, the special effects appear. I don’t even know how to describe the special effects in a way that capture how awful they look; I think it’s something that you have to see to understand it.

“The Church” was a very frustrating experience. If it was trying to be a serious movie it failed at it and if it was trying to be a parody, I did not get it. This director would have to come up with something really interesting to get me to see another of his movies. Surprisingly a sequel for this movie has already been announced, which we will see if manages to come into fruition after the disaster this movie is.

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