(Un)wholly underwhelming


“The Unholy” was released April 2, 2021.

It is nothing special to see a horror film following a demonic possession, supernatural communication, or malicious ghosts. This tendency repeats itself in “The Unholy,” released April 2. The film relies on a shell of a plotline and sloppy imitation of its more famous predecessors. 

The film follows Gerry Fenn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a discredited journalist looking for an opportunity to regain his prestige, who comes across Alice (Cricket Brown), a girl who is allegedly able to communicate with the spirit of the Virgin Mary. Soon after the film begins, however, it becomes obvious that the “spirit” Alice has been in contact with is actually an evil, dead witch that Fenn must work to defeat. 

Besides the terrible acting, “The Unholy” makes a lot of mistakes when it comes to developing its characters. The lack of background information provided for each person limits the film’s depth. Even Fenn, the main protagonist, seems to appear out of thin air, having a very limited backstory that the film never describes in detail, and this leaves the viewers feeling disconnected from the already stumbling plotline.

As the film progresses, the roles of each character fail to add any depth to the story. With the exception of Gerry Fenn, characters seem to drift in and out of the plot, making no real contributions. Even by the end of the movie, it is unclear as to why some of the side characters were included in the first place. Alice has no personality whatsoever, despite her seemingly important role. She is closest to the malevolent spirit, but her character development is weak.  Her role initially seems important because she is the closest to the malevolent spirit, but her character development is weak. 

The film does contain a few meager attempts to add depth to the plotline, such as a short clip at the start of the movie that gives viewers a glimpse into the antagonist’s origin, but it does nothing to counteract the story’s lack of creativity. Despite a few of the spirit’s ghostly appearances, every event that occurs within the film is easily predictable, so much to where viewers will find themselves tediously watching the chain of events they foresaw five minutes ago.

Overall, “The Unholy” is simply underwhelming in every aspect, and is a waste of time. Sure, the occasional appearance of a hooded figure might draw out a gasp, but when it comes to what makes a “good” horror movie, inserting a clip of a stereotypical, upside-down cross just does not cut it.