“Consecration” is the latest addition to the age-old tale of good vs. evil, as Black Death director Christopher Smith puts his spin on the demonic thriller genre. The film follows Grace (Jena Malone), an ophthalmologist who travels to a remote Scottish convent to investigate her brother’s murder-suicide, which is believed to be a result of demonic possession. But as she delves deeper into the mystery, she faces a barrage of disorienting visions and a lack of terror that leaves much to be desired.
Malone’s opening lines, set against an older nun brandishing a gun in her character, Grace’s direction attempts to set the tone for the chilling tale, but Smith and co-writer Laurie Cook’s script lacks the suspense and thrills that one might expect from a horror movie, relying instead on ominous gloom and bloody murders that lack imagination. Malone’s performance as the protagonist is questionable, with her flummoxed and freaked-out demeanor making it hard to view her as a reliable character. The film flashes back to Grace’s grim childhood, where the religious and supernatural were intertwined, but the rich mythology of her past is not explored in enough detail to elevate the present-day mysteries and twists. The film does have a few standout moments, including a parade of white-clad clergy falling to their deaths and a reveal of a malevolent spirit, but for the most part, things are suitably drab and the action proceeds at a bumpy pace.
Sadly, “Consecration” is a lamentable descent into the abyss of horror mediocrity, devoid of both terror and intrigue. With a narrative that careens between the predictable and the perplexing, the film flounders in its efforts to distinguish itself from its numerous predecessors. An unreliable protagonist, a weak script, and a lack of suspense all conspire to render this film a dreary and forgettable affair. The director’s attempts at creating memorable visuals are few and far between, and the pacing is sluggish. In the end, “Consecration” serves as a grim reminder of the dangers of settling for the ordinary in the realm of horror, and a cautionary tale of the perils of allowing the devil to masquerade as the divine.
RATING: 2.0 out of 5.0
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