Monday, October 18, 2010

Catacombs, a.k.a. Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice

A young woman comes to study at a monastery. She and the monks soon fine that an ancient evil dwells in the nearby catacombs.

Oops. Don't know why when I put this on that I thought it was the 3rd movie in the Curse nonseries. At least in part, it was probably due to my enthusiasm for seeing another movie by David Schmoeller, the director of Tourist Trap and Crawlspace, for whom I'm starting to acquire a real taste.

Catacombs is not as good as those films, not by a long shot, but it's far more interesting and atmospheric than its disreputable pedigree would imply. It's a nicely pieced together haunted house/exorcist movie with a strong cast who actually get the opportunity to play somewhat fleshed out characters. Schmoeller has a real feel for the genre and how to toy with the audience (nice use of out-of-focus motion in the background). On the downside, it's a little too uneventful and its climax is stunningly unexciting. Far be it from me to not appreciate a horror movie that tries to take its time, but its atmosphere is not rich enough to warrant the degree of nonaction on hand. Not to sound too much like a philistine, but a little more violence might have been appreciated.

Grade: C+

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