Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Consecration (2023)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Consecration (2023)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 1h 31min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: AGC Studios, Bigscope Films, Moonriver, IFC Midnight, Shudder
Director: Christopher Smith
Writer: Christopher Smith, Laurie Cook
Actors: Jena Malone, Danny Huston, Ian Pirie, Janet Suzman, Thoren Ferguson, Eilidh Fisher, Steffan Cennydd
Blurb from IMDb: After the alleged suicide of her priest brother, Grace travels to the remote Scottish convent where he fell to his death. Distrusting the Church's account, she uncovers murder, sacrilege, and a disturbing truth about herself.

Selina’s Point of View:
The trailer and promotional material for Consecration had me amped.
Horror flicks based on faith are a dime a dozen, but it felt like there would be an interesting twist with this one.
On the one hand, I was right. There was an interesting twist involved. It was giving The Omen (1976), but there were some tweaks that altered the feel. The problem was that most of what led up to that decent twisty ending was boring.
By the time Consecration was over I was exhausted from just trying to keep myself awake.

The best thing I can say is that the cast was on point. Jena Malone (Lorelei, The Public, Swallowed) did the best she could with what she had. Danny Huston (Marlowe, Calls, The Constant Gardener) and Janet Suzman (Felix, Max, The Curse of Minerva) were appropriately creepy, though Eilidh Fisher (The Power, The English Game, The Nest) showed them both up with her performance. Thoren Ferguson (Matriarch, The Spanish Princess, Matriarch) was a suitable good-guy type as well.
Ian Pirie (The Last Duel, Guilt, The Matrix Resurrections) shined above them all. He had the one thread of storyline that was truly frightening – and his performance was equally so.
Consecration had a good idea with great actors. It even had an interesting ending that was tweaked just enough to feel fresh. The problem was the rest of it.
I wouldn’t be able to sit through it again. But if you want to give it a shot, it comes out on Shudder, May 19th.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have some strong feelings about Consecration, and I’m frustrated about it. This is primarily because if I discussed them, it would reveal massive spoilers. Since that is generally not our intention in these reviews, I’ll just flail internally for a moment and move on to what I can offer spoiler-free.
Let’s start with some positives.
I was happy that Consecration showed off the gorgeous landscapes of Scotland in general, and especially the Isle of Skye. The cinematography was spot-on there. While I’m not particularly familiar with the clifftop ruins utilized within the film, it was quite fitting for the story and the beautifully rugged setting.
The fact that this was a primarily Scottish story had me very excited when it came to this production. I was craving that scenery; and Scottish brogue is like music to my ears. Irish and Scottish language, accents, art, music, and landscapes all call to parts of my soul more than any other and I am rather voracious when it comes to partaking of such things.
I was hoping that Consecration would utilize native actors to maximize the feeling of authenticity. This production mostly succeeded with that by utilizing actors like Ian Pirie, Eilidh Fisher, and Thoren Ferguson.

While watching the film, the story seemed to support the fact that Grace, Jena Malone’s character, had an English accent rather than Scottish - but as things unfolded and the more I have thought about it, I think it was a wasted opportunity to not have her utilize a Scots accent instead. Perhaps it was a difficult dialect for her - I have no idea if it was specifically intentional or not. Regardless, I feel it was a disservice to the tale. Other than that, though, I really didn’t have any problems with her overall performance.
Danny Huston also didn’t disappoint. His character was disarming and exactly how one would expect a priest in his position to be.
Consecration had a slow burn going on with a blend of religion-based horror and that of the horrific acts of man. It could have benefited from some better editing when it came to the flashbacks because it was put together a little clunkily in that regard. I did appreciate the full-circle nature of the story, but there were bits that just nagged at me and damaged my ability to suspend disbelief. The ending twist was decent. I didn’t see it coming.
Overall, Consecration wasn’t a bad religious horror movie, it just had room for improvement and a few pacing issues. I’d say it’s worth a watch if the trailer intrigued you at all.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 42%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 32%
Metascore – 40%
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score –5.1/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 2.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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