The unpredictable horror is more than a typical possession movie

The unpredictability is Agnes’ greatest strength; its genre-hybridity lends a mixed bag of emotions, ultimately emerging as a raw tale of loss.

The genre of non-exploitation can be tricky to master, causing dividing reactions due to the handling of the material in question. This is the case with the Ken Russell controversy Devils and the last of Paul Verhoeven, Benedetta. Mickey reece Agnes is a rather confusing watch as it attempts to confuse aspects of demonic possession with character drama about religious doubt, which doesn’t perform well all the time. The unpredictability is Agnes‘greater strength; its genre-hybridity lends a mixed bag of emotions, ultimately emerging as a raw tale of loss.

Diocesan leaders credit disgraced Father Donaghue (Ben Hall) with the role of priest-exorcist, who is asked to be accompanied by recent seminary graduate Benjamin (Jake Horowitz). While the move is a deliberate ploy by the church to convict Donaghue, given that he has a history of child sexual abuse, Donaghue is portrayed as a man always willing to share his cynical wisdom with Benjamin, to the great. veiled disgust of the latter. Reece has no intention of Agnes be quite a serious movie, as there are deliberate cases designed to provoke laughter, like when Sister Honey pokes fun at Benjamin’s allure and the almost comical way a possessed Agnes bites Father Donaghue’s nose. After the failed exorcism, the famously excommunicated exorcist Father Black (Chris Browning) is called in, which leads to a series of moments that are both ridiculous and frightening in an extremely lukewarm way.


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Father Donaghue (Ben Hall), Benjamin (Jake Horowitz) and Mother Superior (Mary Buss) to Agnes

The audience is introduced to the chain of unpredictability in Agnes early enough, as the expected intro shots are subverted from the get-go. A group of nuns gather at mass, only to be disturbed by a volatile sister (Hayley McFarland), who spits profanity at her sisters, tossing a communion cake at their shocked faces, levitating the dishes and pulling them across. the room. The tone is neither too serious nor too comical, which makes audiences guess what kind of movie they’re waiting for. The central premise is that of demonic possession inside a convent and the repercussions that follow an unsuccessful exorcism ritual.

Contrary to expectations, the titular Agnes isn’t the focus of the film at all – rather, it’s her friend, Sister Mary (Molly Quinn), who the genre-hybrid offering faithfully follows after the first half. Having been close to Agnes and familiar with acute loss, Mary struggles with her faith, leaving the convent after the disastrous and traumatic incident, trying to cope on her own in the harsh, practical world. The ironic, pastiche aura of the first half slowly begins to crumble, as Mary tries to fill the void left in her, juggling minimum wage jobs with confrontation and peace with the past, all the while looking ahead. a bleak future. An unsettling aura grips the story of Mary and Quinn presents a remarkable performance, evoking the various stages of her grief in a striking way.

Mary (Molly Quinn) in Agnès

While Agnes suffers from a lack of cohesion and tries to arouse various emotions at the same time, he manages to captivate, surprising by his narrative unveiling of free form. The end of Agnes may seem abrupt or unsatisfactory to some. Perhaps this is on purpose, especially since life does not have easy or comfortable answers and it is difficult to be true to yourself in the midst of acute loss and certainty. , the quest to know God being soaked in a surprising nothingness. Reece allows her last moments to bathe in the halo of true sincerity, bringing a tender end to a hectic and surprising ride.

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Agnes released in theaters and available on VOD on December 10, 2021. The film lasts 93 minutes and is unrated at this time.

Our assessment:

3 out of 5 (Good)

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