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The Convent: Turned Horribly Wrong

Have you ever had a dream that started great, like you were in the marina of Barcelona eating paella for example, but then it turned horribly wrong? Well, The Convent began well, but quickly turned into another silly, forgettable horror movie, like all the others.

The Convent follows young Persephone (Hannah Arterton) accused of being a witch and sentenced to death. Just before her sentence is carried out, Reverend Mother (Clare Higgins) intervenes and is able to take her to the priory where she is the Mother. Superior. At first thankful to escape death, Persephone soon realises her new sanctuary is home to the purest form of evil.

The religious horror theme continues from the famous, The Nun, to this year’s The Convent, whose plot starts with promisingly disturbing and creepy vibes, but soon turns overly bloody, silly, and confusing.

The film begins with a very cool play on shadows, bright scary eyes in the dark, and a mystery of whether anything Persephone is seeing is real, or just visions. This made the film more disturbing than scary in a traditional jump-scare kind of way, which was refreshing. However, the film soon turns a sharp corner with a thin story of a conjured spirit on which everything was blamed, to disguise the fact that the filmmakers wanted to add as many graphic scenes as possible.

The plot became so thin that by the end, the audience didn’t even know what was happening, just that the characters were being attacked and that it was all blamed on the conjured spirit. There were zombie-like creatures that unexplainably came to life on a specific night (kind of like werewolves) with no explanation provided as to how and why.

The graphic content in the film is also too much for many to bear, with constant eye-gouging, as well as endless amounts of blood. Advocating for the necessity of these scenes would have been possible if only the audience understood the murky, jumbled plot.

The violence was made truly horrific with a clear focus on sound effects where the audience could hear eyes being gouged out, a head being bashed in, and more.

For the acting, Hannah Arterton made her character to be a fighter, but was unable to have audiences sympathise with her enough and get attached to her to sincerely hope she makes it out. Instead, Arterton’s performance was cold and barely showed any emotion, which distanced the audience from her character. Clare Higgins was able to bring the fear to her role, with stern facial expressions, evil stares, and a harsh demeanour.

Those who hate graphic violence will probably cover their eyes for the whole second half of this film, those who love it will relish in the eye-gouging, and those who are true horror movie fans will sigh as another horror film fails to become something more than just uninspired.

Like This? Try

The Conjuring (2013), The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), Carrie (2013).

360 Tip

The film's director, Paul Hyett, is known for his work on Doomsday (2008), Attack the Block (2011), and The Descent (2005).

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