The Leech is a 2022 American dark comedy horror film about a devout priest who welcomes a struggling couple into his house at Christmas time. What begins as a simple act of kindness quickly becomes the ultimate test of faith once the sanctity of his home is jeopardised.
Written, co-produced and directed by Eric Pennycoff (Sadistic Intentions; shorts: M Is for Mariachi; The Pod). Also produced by Scott Smith and Adelyn Tomlinson. Executive produced by Sean Fowler and Robert Owen.
The Doomcroak Pictures production stars Rigo Garay, Jeremy Gardner (Christmas Bloody Christmas; Off Season; After Midnight; The Battery), Graham Skipper and Taylor Zaudtke.
“Director and writer Eric Pennycoff also made Sadistic Intentions, which starred Gardner and Zaudtke, and he puts together a movie with a small cast, a smart script and a mix of madness and black humor as the priest finds himself in a place — and perhaps a position — that he had never prepared for.” B&S About Movies
“It’s hard not to be drawn into each character and how one is pushed to the brink even though clearly they all have their own personal demons. The Leech also tells us that our faith may not be strong enough to withstand uninhibited evil. Sometimes it may be best to ask for forgiveness after denying a charitable deed then suffer the consequences for doing so.” 3.5 out of 5, Horror Movies Uncut
“There’s a lot to enjoy about the happenstance and irony of the film. Christmas is an exceptionally stressful time of the year, and it makes for a fantastic setting to pronounce Father David’s commitment to compassionate acts. I found the film equally charming and vicious, laughing out loud at many of the jokes and cringeworthy situations.” Horror Obsessive
“The Leech is far too small-scale, too self-contained for that all-too-familiar trope to play out in any way other than the expected. This means it’s down to the performances to hold the audience’s attention. Good job then that The Leech has Graham Skipper in the lead role and Jeremy Gardner as his antagonist.” 2.5 out of 5, Nerdly
“The Leech’s cast is perfection […] If you want to enjoy a sadistic messed-up holiday film, then Christmas came early for you with The Leech. If you are a person easily offended by queer sex, violence, and digs at the Catholic church, then thoughts and prayers to you.” Nightmarish Conjurings
” an unsettling work that is sure to offend certain viewers while delighting others […] doesn’t shy away from uneasy, distressing situations, and handles both the horror-adjacent and outright horror elements with equal gusto. The cast is terrific, with Skipper nailing every subtle nuance of his character’s descent into horrific hell marvelously, and Gardner and Zaudtke perfectly playing hedonistic foils.” The Scariest Things
“We’ve all met nice guys who are willing to help those in need. And it’s every bit as likely that we’ve had the misfortune to cross paths with freeloaders who will take all that’s offered and shamelessly ask for more […] Ultimately, The Leech is an unnerving film that uses both humour and menace to get under the viewer’s skin.” 4 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony
“The shift in the characters’ moods across the narrative is made entirely believable by the strong performances from the three leads, but cleverly supported by a parallel shift in camera movement and a progressively changing score. To put this into perspective the whole opening portion of the film is backed by traditional holiday music that’s almost comically Hallmark in a way that feels fully intentional…” 4 out of 5, Void Video
The Leech had its world premiere at the Chattanooga Film Festival.
Arrow will release the film on Blu-ray in the UK, US and Canada on December 6, 2022.
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