THE UNHOLY (2021)
Religious themed horror finds down on his luck reporter Gerry Fenn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), now covering Weekly World News level stories. While in the small rural town of Banfield, Massachusetts, investigating an obvious hoax, Fenn encounters young deaf/mute Alice (Cricket Brown), who can now hear and speak, and who credits The Virgin Mary herself for her miraculous healing. As Alice is now accomplishing miracles of her own, Fenn’s research uncovers that something far more malevolent may be responsible for these “divine” occurrences and Fenn himself may be the one that unleashed it.
Flick is directed in by-the-numbers fashion by Evan Spiliotopoulos, from his screenplay, based on the book Shrine by James Herbert. It is a dull and routine flick that never makes any attempt to add a little mystery as to whether these miracles are divine or demonic. We know from the first scene with Fenn that something evil has been unleashed and that religious leaders, including local priest Father Hagan (William Sadler) and the church’s Bishop Gyles (Cary Elwes) are being just as bamboozled as innocent Alice. There are no scares, the FX are obvious ho-hum CGI creations and the characters that populate this generic story are all stereotypical of such a tale…as are the events and finale just as predictable. A familiar and forgettable horror with a cast that deserved much better.