Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Fantasia 2021: Agnes (2021)

Movie Name/Year: Fantasia 2021: Agnes (2021)
Genre: Drama, Horror
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Language: English
Production/Distribution: Divide/Conquer, Perm Machine, QWGmire
Director: Mickey Reece
Writer: Mickey Reece, John Selvidge
Actors: Molly C. Quinn, Sean Gunn, Hayley McFarland, Chris Browning, Rachel True, Jake Horowitz, Zandy Hartig, Bruce Davis, Chris Freihofer, Ben Hall, Cait Brasel, Mary Buss
Blurb from IMDb: Rumors of demonic possession at a religious convent prompts a church investigation into the strange goings-on among its nuns. A disaffected priest and his neophyte are confronted with temptation, bloodshed and a crisis of faith.

Selina’s Point of View:
A lot of the tropes involved in an exorcism horror plot can be off-putting. The trailer for Agnes makes it seem like they intend to hit every point. It’s a bit misleading. In fact, it’s like one of those ‘spoilers without context’ posts you see on social media.
Agnes had some really unique turns. A lot of the aforementioned tropes were present, but in inconsequential ways. I don’t mean they flipped the stereotypes around; I mean they literally didn’t matter by the end.
Agnes seems to be made up of two completely different stories. As original as that made it, it also added a sense of intense confusion. I’ll be honest, at a few points I had no idea what was happening or how it had anything to do with where the movie began.

The thing is, both the first and the second half of the film would have made decent projects in their own right – but they’re so different in genre and tone that they feel awkward when stuck together. On one hand, you have the horror of a demonic possession. On the other, a dramatic look into the people affected by what happened. The titular character is never seen again after a certain point. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it is a simple way of explaining how sharp of a turn the movie takes.
It felt like a bait and switch.
The actual method behind the film-making was impressive. There was a decent use of imagery, with intuitive lighting, and some scenes utilizing interesting perspective shots. None of that was particularly flawed. I don’t, however, believe it will find a footing with wider audiences. 
The transformation of genres, the jarring transitions, and slow burn of the second half will make Agnes less accessible to general movie-goers. Amongst film critics, people who hyperfocus on cinema, and students of the industry – I get why it would do well. I just don’t think a wider audience would go for it.

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

1 comment:

  1. I hate when a movie can b 2 movies as much as I hate when a miniseries can be a really good long movie!