Tuesday, 18 June 2013
The Convent (2000).
Unfairly seen as a Night of the Demons rip off by some, and labelled as a badly written cheese-fest by others, The Convent is one of the most enjoyable splatter movies I have ever seen. I first viewed the movie thirteen years ago, when a friend was staying over. It is safe to say that we really enjoyed the movie, and were quoting lines from the film such as "I have arrived" or "Just gimme five minutes" for years afterwards. It was never scary, but it didn't need to be. The demons look incredible, the use of neon light really effective and the humor in the movie constant and always manages to raise a chuckle.
Some college friends break into an old abandoned convent which has a notorious past. Forty years ago, it is rumored that a sixteen year old girl named Christine was forced to have an abortion by the nuns, which caused her to snap and murder the members of the convent with a shotgun before setting fire to the building. Unfortunately for the college friends, a group of terribly inept satanists are lurking in the convent, looking for a virgin to use in their rite of demon resurrection. They succeed, but are surprised when the demon attacks them. This is when all hell breaks loose, and the only person who can put a stop to the demonic goings on at the convent, is Christine.
Mike Mendez's splatter comedy classic is a movie that never gets old, no matter how many times you watch it. It's a gore filled movie with great FX and some very quotable lines. It does have a low budget, but is a campy, competently shot and acted tribute to the splatter movies of the eighties, as well as Night of the Demons and other movies of that ilk. The humor ay be cheesy, but it fits in very well with the tone of the film.
The movie is packed with so much love, passion and excitement for the horror genre that it is apparent from the get go that this movie is going to be great. This is a film that never takes itself seriously and is a great amount of fun. The gore never comes across as serious, as it is more like the gore in Bad Taste or Evil Dead 2, and the pacing is fast from the (Tarantino-esque) opening to the gore soaked end.
The Convent never fails to impress, even 13 years after it's release. It boasts a truly ass-kicking appearance by the legendary Adrienne Barbeau as well as cameos from Bill Mosely and Coolio, and nearly every minute of the movie is chock full of both humor and over the top gore. The movie could easily have come off as cheesy, but it is sold so convincingly, it is hard not to love such a high energy love letter to the horror genre.