Synopsis by Cavett Binion
Originally intended as the third chapter in producer Dario Argento's Demons trilogy, La Chiesa stands alone as an effective horror film centering on a haunted cathedral with a violent past. The church's history begins in Medieval Italy, when the Knights Templar massacred an entire village of suspected Satanists and built the structure upon the site of the slain peasants' mass grave. Designed by an architect/alchemist (who was buried alive within his creation), the church is filled with elaborate machinery designed to seal off all entrances if ever the spirits of the entombed villagers were to rise again... which, of course, takes place in the present when the crypt's seal is removed. As demonic forces have their way with the church's occupants, it becomes the task of the parish priest (Hugh Quarshie) and a young girl (Asia Argento, daughter of Dario) to discover the builder's last line of defense before the evil is unleashed upon the outside world. Directed by Michele Soavi (who later gained critical acclaim with the inventive Dellamorte Dellamore), this is an imaginative Gothic horror film with startling imagery straight out of a Hieronymous Bosch painting and its own well-conceived mythology. Shots of the church's elaborate Medieval machines grinding to life are particularly memorable.
church, demon, demonic-possession, plague, trapped, cathedral, evil, gateway-to-hell, girl, manuscript, secrets, townspeople, massacre, Satanism, ancient, escape, mass-murder, medieval