1989 / Director. Michele Soavi.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The DEMONI series has been a complicated franchise with several stand-alone films being branded as sequels. THE OGRE is known as DEMONI 3 in some countries and THE SECT is referred to as DEMONI 4. Then there are a further 3 or 4 films, which found their way to video store shelves as DEMONI 5, 6 7 etc. None of these are actual sequels, nor do they share any similarities to the first two films. THE CHURCH is actually the only film with any connection. It was originally written as an official third instalment before it was re-written several times so that it could stand alone. Where the first two films were comical and frivolous gore-fests THE CHURCH is a far more distinguished affair. The film begins in medieval Germany where an order of priests massacre and entire village out of fear that they are cursed by the devil. They throw the hundreds of corpses in a giant pit and build a church over their burial. The film then moves forward to modern times where a historian removes a seal, which unleashes the spirits of the dead. The film's place in the DEMONI universe comes from its zombie-esque themes, cinematic artistry and behind the scenes talent... but that's where the connections end. This is a great Italian horror film, full of stylish cinematography, gothic ambience and a fantastic kinetic soundtrack. It's also a real slow burner and takes its time to build atmosphere. The true horror of the story isn't revealed until mid-way through and by this time the mystery and intrigue is well established. The imagery is often confronting and graphic and yet most of horrors depicted are implied and/or psychological... Sadly the film has slipped in to obscurity and is only celebrated amongst true horror devotees... the general movie-going public don't even know it exists. If you're one of those people then do yourself the favour and check it out. The new Viewlorium website has it available to stream, absolutely free. Click here and watch it now.