AGNES is a horror-drama featuring nuns and exorcism. It starts out being exactly the kind of movie I love. However, it takes a sharp turn and becomes something entirely else. And not in a way that suits my preferences. Screened at Fantasia. Read our Agnes movie review here!
AGNES is a horror drama that starts out as a camp and kitschy nunsploitation style horror-comedy. Actually, it focuses on religion and faith as a whole. Not just nuns. It’s dark and crude and worked so damn well in terms of quicky characters that I felt like I was in for a real treat.
Halfway through the runtime (or less actually), it becomes something different which is quite slow-burn. I am all for character-driven slow-burn with elements of religion and people guided by faith (as was the case with the brilliant Saint Maud). This one just didn’t deliver on that. Instead, it was a hybrid of sorts. An idea I can appreciate but didn’t really care for in execution.
Continue reading our Agnes movie review below.
What happens after an exorcism
The last half of Agnes is all about what happens to the people involved with an exorcism after the actual exorcism. However, not only won’t you see the actual exorcism, the movie isn’t even about Agnes. Instead, it’s about Mary.
When the change in style and story comes, it turns into a very different movie. The change, however, was so abrupt that it was virtually whiplash-inducing. I get that this was the point, but I can’t say I liked it. We screened this movie at Fantasia and I would recommend watching it for the first part and then just trying to get the most out of the last part.
Again, while I can appreciate that this might be about the aftermath of an exorcism, we only get half of each story. Personally, I would rather have watched two movies that each featured the entire story.
While the actors still deliver strong performances across the runtime of Agnes, I felt an innate sadness about being robbed of the horror-comedy that I was getting into and really loving.
We screened Agnes at Fantasia
Mickey Reece is the director and co-writer of Agnes and he also made the movie Climate of the Hunter prior to this. The other writer on Agnes was John Selvidge who also co-wrote the previous movie by Mickey Reece. The two clearly have a good creative working relationship and I did truly love that first half. Give me a full movie like that and I’ll be thrilled.
YOU MIGHT LIKE
I’ve seen reviewers either love the style of this new movie or feel let down as I did. I suspect movie-watchers as a whole will end up being just as divided.
We screened this movie at Fantasia and I would recommend watching it for the first part and then just trying to get the most out of the last part. As mentioned earlier, I did like both halves of this movie. I just don’t like watching them in this hybrid form where I’m robbed of half of both stories.
Agnes is screening at Fantasia 2021, but it will be out in theaters and on-demand on December 10, 2021.
Director: Mickey Reece
Writers: Mickey Reece, John Selvidge
Stars: Chris Browning, Mary Buss, Sean Gunn, Ben Hall, Zandy Hartig, Jake Horowitz, Hayley McFarland, Molly C. Quinn, Chris Sullivan, Rachel True
Rumors of demonic possession at a religious convent prompts a church investigation into the strange goings-on among its nuns. A disaffected priest and his neophyte are confronted with temptation, bloodshed and a crisis of faith.