The critics were unkind to this one when it first came out. I’m not just talking about the Normie critics, either. You’d expect them to hate it. Some of the geek sites were pretty harsh too, though, and that’s unfortunate, because THE UNHOLY doesn’t deserve the hate. It’s true that the movie doesn’t break any new ground. Everything shown here is something you’ve seen before. It definitely follows a formula. But if all the pieces are familiar, it still puts them on display in a proficient manner. Don’t go into this one expecting THE EXORCIST and you’ll have a good time.
You know all along what’s going on; there are no surprises. An evil witch, named Mary, returns from the dead to seek revenge, and does so by posing as the Virgin Mary and working miracles. It’s all a scam to get the inhabitants of a small town to believe in her, though, because their belief lends her strength. That’s the story. No twists or turns here. But the acting is solid; Jeffrey Dean Morgan has more than enough charisma to anchor the narrative. And the monster, the titular Unholy, looks cool. There’s even a groovy nod to Mario Bava’s BLACK SUNDAY included with the price of admission. Overall this one’s well worth checking out. I was pleasantly surprised.