‘Blessed be the curse’
Consecration is a forthcoming British-American horror film about a woman that travels to Scotland to investigate the suspicious death of her brother, a priest.
Directed by Christopher Smith (The Banishing; Triangle; Severance; Creep) from a screenplay co-written with Laurie Cook. The latter and Jason Newmark of Bigscope Films are producing Consecration alongside Xavier Marchand (The Ritual; The Woman in Black 2) of Moonriver Content. Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios provided the financing and also co-produce.
The AGC Studios-Bigscope Films-Moonriver Content co-production stars Jena Malone, Danny Huston, Ian Pirie, Janet Suzman, Steffan Cennydd, Eilidh Fisher, Angela White, Thoren Ferguson, Victoria Donovan, Charlotte Palmer, Jolade Obasola, David Boyle, Alexandra Lewis, Kit Rakusen, Marilyn O’Brien, Michael Brophy, Emma Hixson, Daisy Allen and Rachael Joanne Brown.
Grace is a woman who travels to Mount Saviour Convent in Scotland to investigate the suspicious death of her brother, a priest. Once there, she uncovers murder, sacrilege and a disturbing truth about her own past…
Director Christopher Smith enthused that the film is “about the nature of religion and how defining one thing as divine creates a false opposite that is heretical.” He added: “This film is an opportunity to take the audience on a thrilling journey into the dark unknown, and I want to really push that to the limit both in terms of scares and the psychology of the main characters. I’ve learnt so much about making genre films over the years, and I want Consecration to be the scariest yet.”
“Director/co-writer Christopher Smith never figures out how to combine them smoothly, nor does he give either side the development it deserves. The procedural lacks the kind of mounting tension needed to pull us in, and the religious horror moments often come out of left field. That’s a shame because the movie looks terrific, with production design and cinematography that make the convent feel like a heavy, somber place.” 2 out of 4, The Aisle Seat
“A powerful central performance from Malone and a strong presence from Danny Huston as the Vatican’s Father Romero, alongside an onslaught of twists and turns, elevate it above the generic, though the latter come close to derailing it all together at times. Consecration is a solid addition to the canon and proof again that Christopher Smith can confidently step into any dark corner of the genre.” Common Sense Media
“The film feels long, even at only 80-some minutes, for what’s essentially a stealth retelling of a noteworthy “Twilight Zone” episode I’d refer to by title if it weren’t a context clue spoiler. When the conclusion finally boomerangs back to resolve the gun-pointing prologue, we’re left holding the bag to divine a message out of muddied suggestions about nature versus nurture, intrinsic good and evil, or who knows what.” 50 out of 100, Culture Crypt
” …Consecration isn’t a scary film by any means, but still manages to scratch that itch of “good old-fashioned horror” that makes it such an entertaining, memorable watch. Smith imbues the film with a sometimes cheesy air to it, but never one that takes away from any genuinely impressive direction. It’s helped by a healthy scoop of atmosphere…” Elements of Madness
“Terrors of the mind and traumas to the body are Consecration‘s main focus, above all the patriarchal brainwashing. Near the end of the film, Grace says: “Healing just used to be forgetting. But I‘m realising that my body actually remembers things that my mind just can‘t.” This line’s ideas are obviously a major part of the film’s plot and story. They’re just as much related to the reality of the Roman Catholic Church.” Father Son Holy Gore
“Consecration makes the most of its spooky setting and sends its viewers off down a road of unravelling secrets. Jena Malone leads the film well, creating an easily sympathetic but intriguing character in Grace and she’s got great support from Danny Huston and the film’s plethora of nuns. There’s a solid atmosphere and the direction and aesthetic tick the right boxes to ramp up the suspicion but it loses itself in its finale.” 3.5 out of 5, Film Carnage
“Matters get bogged down at times, and a third-act explanatory flashback seemed a bit much, but Smith’s attempts to tackle the grey area between what constitutes good and evil present some points to chew on for viewers who like to consider the psychology of religion in their fear fare.” Horror Fuel
“Malone is one of the most watchable American actresses of her generation, but her performance here wavers between two modes – confused and angry. With so much about Grace concealed throughout the film, Malone struggles to make the character three-dimensional, resulting in an unappealing and unengaging protagonist. Still, anyone who attended Catholic school may find enough relatable creepiness in the setting, but for a convent-based horror it’s nun too scary.” 2.5 out of 5, The Movie Waffler
“Consecration has two strengths that help to make it at least moderately entertaining: The strong performances by Jena Malone and Danny Huston, and the atmospheric cinematography. Their performances account for the modicum of emotional poignancy which the screenplay sorely lacks. At times, the setting and landscape in general becomes like a character in and of themselves.” The NYC Movie Guru
“The gothic visuals and brief altercations between Huston and Malone keep Consecration afloat, but Smith’s assertions only add up to another tedious and routine exercise. There’s even a knock-off reference to other, better, films like the mirror sequence in Contact which solidifies the film’s overall sense of tomfoolery.” Grade: D+, The Only Critic
“A basic understanding of this spirituality is necessary for an exploration of the tension between devotion and hysteria. Unfortunately, “Consecration” has no real interest in truly examining that tension while also proving itself to be frustrating on a pure horror level due to its overly complicated script, reliance on visual cliches, and lackluster ending.” 1 out of 5 stars, RogerEbert.com
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