CONSECRATION is a new horror movie starring Jena Malone. It’s religious-themed but not another exorcism movie. Still, it does get quite violent and has a supernatural (or paranormal) twist. The runtime is perfectly utilized. Read our full Consecration movie review here!
CONSECRATION is a new horror movie from IFC Films and Shudder. A very solid starting point for any genre movie as this usually means a high standard, to begin with. Having Jena Malone starring in the film is yet another plus; she is good in this one.
While it is religious-themed, it has a fresh take on this horror subgenre. In other words, this isn’t another exorcism movie, but it does get quite violent and intensely creepy. Also, the storytelling works really well and the 90-minute runtime is perfectly utilized.
Continue reading our full Consecration movie review below. Find the film in theaters from February 10, 2023 (and on Shudder later).
What is good or evil?
The core story with its religious theme obviously focuses on good and evil. Or God and the Devil. And while Grace (Jena Malone) has been staying away from religion and focused on science as an accomplished ophthalmologist in London, her brother has gone in the other direction. He’s a priest at the Mount Saviour Convent in the Scottish Highlands.
Their respective reasoning for shying away from (or going towards) religion stems from their childhood which we will see in flashbacks that work remarkably well.
In any case, Grace is forced to go to the remote convent in Scotland after the suspicious death of her brother. Officially, it’s a murder-suicide situation and her brother is the one who committed suicide which Grace refuses to believe. At the convent, she is met by Mother Superior (Academy Award nominee Janet Suzman) and Father Romero (Danny Huston).
She doesn’t trust either since they clearly have the best interest of the Church and not the truth.
The world is more gray than black or white in that area.
Jena Malone (The Hunger Games, Swallowed) delivers a very strong performance as Grace, so you can easily watch it for her alone. However, there isn’t one weak performance in the movie, so you should enjoy the entire cast. Her brother, who we obviously only see alive in flashbacks, is portrayed by Steffan Cennydd (The Feast).
The intense Consecration ending
As already mentioned, the runtime of Consecration lands on that perfect 1 hour and 30 minutes. And while the entire movie plays out in a very intriguing and sometimes surprising way, the ending of Consecration is what really won me over.
To be fair, this is often the case. If a movie ends on a bad note, it taints the entire movie-watching experience. This was the case with They Wait in the Dark (though I do still recommend watching it). That’s why it was great to have the opposite experience here.
There are quite a lot of twists and turns towards the end, which will definitely work best if you’ve been paying attention. Watching this in a movie theater, that won’t be a problem, but watching it at home, you need to respect the story and focus on the movie.
It has a few moments that reminded me of Mike Flanagan’s Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House, which is one of my favorite TV series ever. If you’ve watched this and could keep up with how the story evolved, you can keep up with this one as well.
Watch Consecration in theaters now and on Shudder later
Christopher Smith is the co-writer and director of Consecration. You’re probably already familiar with some of his other movies. Previously, Christopher Smith directed the horror movie Creep (2004), which was his feature debut. Since then, he went on to direct movies like Severance (2006), Triangle (2009), Black Death (2010), Detour (2016), and The Banishing (2020).
His co-writer on this latest religious-themed horror movie is Laurie Cook. This is the first writing credit for Laurie Cook, who has been producing movies for the past decade or so. She’s also a producer on this movie as well as on Smith’s The Banishing and the 2021 movie Barbarians.
Consecration is distributed by IFC Films and Shudder, which means it gets a theatrical release first and then on the Shudder streaming platform later. If you can, be sure to check it out in a theater near you first. Otherwise, you’ll be happy to know that it works very well in a home theater setting as well, which is how I screened this one.
If we did half stars here at Heaven of Horror, I would give Consecration 3½ stars. But we don’t, so I give it a solid 3.
Consecration is out exclusively in theaters from February 10, 2023, and digitally on March 3, 2023. It will also be released on Shudder later!
Director: Christopher Smith
Writers: Christopher Smith, Laurie Cook
Cast: Jena Malone, Danny Huston, Janet Suzman, Thoren Ferguson, Will Keen, Steffan Cennydd, Eilidh Fisher, Victoria Donovan, Ian Pirie
In CONSECRATION, after the suspicious death of her brother, a priest, Grace (Jena Malone) goes to the Mount Saviour Convent in Scotland to find out what really happened. Once there, she uncovers murder, sacrilege and a disturbing truth about her own past.
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