I’m reviewing the 1989 Italian horror The Church written by Dario Argento but directed by Michele Soavi. However Dario Argento’s daughter Asia does appear in the film. Sounds pretty good so far but is it actually any good? Let’s find out, so without further ado here’s my The Church blu-ray review.
- The Church (1989)
- Genre: Italian Horror
- Directed by Michele Soavi
- Written by Dario Argento / Franco Ferrini / Dardano Sacchetti
- UK Rating 18
- Discs: 1
- Released By Shameless Films
- Blu-ray Released: 8 May 2017
Librarian Evan is brought in by the Bishop to catalogue their extensive selection of books. He strikes up a friendship with Lisa who is overseeing a restoration project within the church. However the church has a sinister past which is unleashed when Lisa finds an old piece of parchment in the building’s cellar.
Evan is obsessed by it believing it to be the key to hidden treasure buried deep below the church.
Style / Direction
The film was directed by Michele Soavi whilst Renato Tafuri handled the cinematography. Incredibly stylish and extremely unnerving is how I would describe The Church. I really love the camera angles used, both high and tracking shots in particular. These two work perfectly for the supernatural horror genre.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Keith Emerson, Philip Glass and Fabio Pignatelli. It delivers the perfect uneasy score that suits its church setting.
Acting / Characters
The acting is very good, better than most of these type of films in fact. Tomas Arana as librarian Evan is pretty good as he changes persona following the unleashing of pure evil.
Meanwhile Barbara Cupisti as Lisa, the one overseeing the restoration work is very natural. I enjoyed her performance the most.
Asia Argento plays young girl Lotte that lives within the church with her family. She’s going through a rebellious phase sneaking out at night, drinking and smoking. She delivers a very impressive performance.
Hugh Quarshie as Father Gus will be familiar to many. He’s a British actor that’s been in several films but is probably best known for his television work. He’s appeared in Holby City/Casualty as Ric Griffin as well as appearing in things such as Doctor Who.
- Hugh Quarshie as Father Gus
- Tomas Arana as Evan
- Asia Argento as Lotte
- Barbara Cupisti as Lisa
- Giovanni Lombardo Radice as Reverend Dominic
- Feodor Chaliapin, Jr. as The Bishop
- John Karlsen as Heinrich
- John Richardson as The Architect
- Michele Soavi as Police officer
Conclusion: The Church (1989) Film Review
A brilliantly crafted supernatural horror from the mind of Dario Argento brought to life superbly by director Michele Soavi. The story is compelling the setting perfect and the soundtrack leaves you feeling uneasy. What more do you want? Oh and the acting is also very good which is not always the case in these lower budget Italian horrors.
If you’ve enjoyed my The Church blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:
- Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972)
- Macabre (1980)
- Beyond Darkness (1990)
- Deadly Manor (1990)
- Halloween (2018)
Conclusion: The Church Blu-ray Review
The film has undergone a 2K restoration and now looks flawless. It really does make watching these kinds of films so much more enjoyable. On the extras front there’s a 26 minute interview with director Michele Soavi. I found it to be interesting and worth watching.
- Cathedral of Fear An Interview with Michele Soavi (26 mins)
On to my movie rating for The Church (1989)
- Movie Rating: MUST SEE
- Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
- Extras: VERY GOOD
Amazon UK Links
The Church (1989) is available out now on blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the blu-ray version
That concludes The Church blu-ray review, I’m aiming to review more horror movies soon. What’s next? Check back soon…
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Summary: The Church (1989) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: The Church (1989)
Movie description: Written by Dario Argento / Franco Ferrini / Dardano Sacchetti. Blu-ray released by Shameless Films - 2K Restoration
Duration: 103 mins
Director(s): Michele Soavi
Actor(s): Hugh Quarshie, Tomas Arana, Asia Argento, Barbara Cupisti, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Feodor Chaliapin, Jr.
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
A brilliantly crafted supernatural horror.
- Superb Supernatural Horror
- Co-written by Dario Argento
- 2K Restoration