All over the world, a lot of people are visiting their church, mosque, temple, depending on what religion you believe in. And in these days when we have all seen what this pandemic can do, it is not hard to understand why people need to hold on to their faith. But what if your faith is tested by something evil, that will try and take you down for good ? That is of course the moment where you need something to hold on to, when you know that this could end bad. In the movie industry, we have seen a lot of horror films with religious themes. One of the best religious horror films in the last 20 years, has to be the 2001 film known as Frailty. This film looks great, but also have a fantastic cast including Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe and Luke Askew. Frailty is actually directed by Bill Paxton, and i have to say he did a really good job, telling the story of father Meiks, a hard working man who is trying to raise his young boys. But one day, Meiks claims that he was visited by an angel, who wants him to kill demons, who may look by humans but are actual demons. Meiks go out and find these people, as he kill them brutally. Meiks keeps getting more messages from this angel, as he is told to kill more demons. He finally reveal to his boys what he needs to do, and hope they will accept his mission. Frailty really shows you hos destructive religion can be, when you don´t know what is reality and fantasty. A must see on DVD or Blu Ray, that is actually worth buying to your movie collection. If you are one of those who enjoyed The Conjuring, i am sure you saw the creepy nun that terrified everyone. Nuns can be very effective in horror films, and we have seen several releases over the last few years with this theme. I recently came across one film that looked interesting, that is known as The Dawn. Since i like to pick up DVD horror films, i decided to get myself a copy and see if this film would be as interesting, as the cover of The Dawn seems to be. Is this one of the better horror films with nuns in recent years, or is this a film that fails to bring anything interesting to the table ?
During World War I, young child Rose live with her family in the countryside. Her father is suffering from his experiences of war, and he can´t provide everything with what this family needs. One night, he get up and murder everyone, except Rose who manage to escape from the house. Rose is taken to a convent, where the nuns welcome their new sister into a new life. 10 years later Rose ( Devanny Pinn ) is a big part of the sisterhood, and keep working on her faith. She is considering if she should take her " final vows " in the convent. Because of the aforementioned tragedy, she keeps having nightmares, flashback and visions. As her nightmares become even worse, she is questioning if she might be attacked by something extremely evil.
If you were hoping to see lots of blood, and lots of jump scares, then this film might disappoint you. On the other hand, if you enjoy a horror movie that takes it´s time to build up the atmosphere, then you might find The Dawn interesting. This is a film made on a low budget, but you can feel that this film team have tried to capture the time period of World War I, and how the main character grew into her new life as a nun. But we do have a major problem with this film, and that is that the horror scenes are unfortunately not very effective. The plot actually have a great setting for delivering some old school horror ingredients, but for some reason they don´t really use those tools correctly. Let me give you one example, as we see the main character Rose is experiencing an evil presence. Usually when we see someone being attacked by something evil, it can be very effective. In this film you don´t really feel that she is in a dangerous situation, as the film tries to push forward with the evil entity. And this is such a shame, because i do like the location of this film with the convent, and the sisterhood of the nuns. But when you don´t make the horror scenes effective enough to carry this movie forward, you loose some of the power that this film would have needed. Lead actress Devanny Pinn ( who you might remember from the Rolf Kanesky film Party Bus To Hell ) as Rose, is actually an interesting character. And i do feel that she is a good choice for this film. But, since she can´t deliver strong enough horror scenes on her own, you get a sense that this film does not take itself very serious. It is nice to see actress Stacey Dash ( who i guarantee you will recognize from the 1995 comedy Clueless ) as the character Sister Ella. Unfortunately, she is not given the chance to be seen in more scenes. Director Brandon Slagle ( who is releasing his new interesting sci fi film Attack Of The Unknown this summer ) do have some interesting ideas with this film, and he did start the film in a powerful way with the murder of an entire family. But for some reason he does not continue with the horror influences, on the same level as the beginning of the film. Too bad, because i do feel that this could have been an interesting horror film. I suggest you check out St. Agatha instead, and we will look forward to see Attack Of The Unkown this summer, i have a feeling that will be a tasteful treat.