Consecration (2023)

Consecration (2023)

A spiritless supernatural horror film, brought down by its structure and lack of subtlety

5.7

Movie

United Kingdom, United States of America
English
Horror, Thriller
2023
CHRISTOPHER SMITH
Alexandra Lewis, Angela White, Charlotte Palmer
90 min

TLDR

Only watched this for Jena Malone, really.

What it's about

After her priest brother’s death, Grace decides to investigate its mysterious circumstances in the Scottish convent where it happened.

The take

Known best for his horror films, writer-director Christopher Smith’s latest stint in the genre has dropped on Hulu. Consecration is one of many supernatural horror films set in convents and churches, as the Catholic Church’s notorious silence is easy fodder for potential fears. There’s some of that here, as Grace, portrayed by the excellent Jena Malone, tries to uncover the truth, not just for her brother’s murder but for her own past. However, there’s no secrecy in this murder mystery with the dialogue holding no subtlety at all. Even as the cast makes the most of it, Consecration drags down any possible tension or intrigue with its painfully straightforward dialogue and incoherent timeline shifts.

What stands out

Consecration may not be as delightfully horrific as Smith’s previous features, but it still remains watchable with Jena Malone. It’s her performance that keeps us interested in her character, which makes up half the mystery in this film. While the contrast between her current composed ophthalmologist adulthood with her mysterious, fantastical visions are written haphazardly, Malone’s portrayal of Grace Fario pulls some terror as Grace’s confusion, anger, and determination pulls us into her journey. Better story structure and sequencing could have better showcased her talents, but her work still remains strong enough to make Consecration watchable.

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