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Stars: Sydney Sweeney, Alvaro Morte, Dora Romano

Director: Michael Mohan

Director Mahon goes for maximum intensity, spook and scare, with scenes of indescribably savagery, in this well-made horror film packed with jump scares (although they do diminish in effectiveness as the movie goes on): it's just a shame that the plot doesn't make even a lick of sense from start to finish.

Still, the shapely Sweeney does her burgeoning reputation no harm, with maximum chances to scream, as novice nun Cecelia, who travels from America to join an order in Rome where, unbeknown to her, devil worship, torture and the pursuance of Satanic new life run riot, although we, the audience, have already seen that all is far from well, as another novitiate makes a desperate and futile attempt to escape the convent's clutches.

And, soon after Cecelia's arrival, another nun hurtles to her death from on high. All too quickly, our heroine is wandering about in the middle of the night, although what she sees there isn't half as bad as finding herself pregnant, although she's never been with a man.

Suddenly, the Eminence, the doctor and the mother superior are no longer friendly figures, and Cecelia must resort to desperate and violent methods to have even a fleeting chance of survival - especially when lost in catacombs that are rendered more frightening by the flickering camerawork.

Although, unlike the best horrors, his film is beyond ridiculous, the director makes a creditable effort at suspending our disbelief, at least until near the end.

David Quinlan

USA/Italy 2024. UK Distributor: BlackBear Pictures. Colour by Harbor.
88 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 18 Mar 2024