THE BANISHING is a new Shudder horror movie. Despite a mediocre rating from us, it is definitely worth checking out. Especially because it had moments where it showed insane amounts of potential. Read more in our The Banishing movie review here! 

THE BANISHING is a new horror movie on Shudder that you should really check out. That might sound a bit strange when you glance at the number of stars (or blood splatters) we’ve given this movie. However, this rating is due to our disappointment that it didn’t live up to its potential better.

Also, this movie had moments that worked extremely well and actors that made the plot feel more believable than you’d expect. We’d probably give it 3½ out of 5, which should tell you that we weren’t bored with it. Quite the opposite – despite it having moments of slow-burn pacing.

Continue reading our The Banishing movie review below and find it on Shudder. 

Watch it for Jessica Brown Findlay

Okay, there are more reasons than Jessica Brown Findlay to watch The Banishing, but she alone is certainly reason enough to watch. She gives a performance that definitely deserved a better overall movie as well. Again, that’s not to say this movie is bad. It could just have been so much better!

Jessica Brown Findlay plays the woman who moves into a haunted house with her young reverend husband and their daughter. Obviously, she doesn’t know the place is haunted. And as the audience, you probably won’t understand the relationship between the reverend, Marianne (Jessica Brown Findlay), and the young girl either.

In fact, it’s from the very beginning of this movie that the storyline seems to fall behind. We’re given pieces and are expected to make them fit a puzzle without knowing the image they should make out. It’s all too obscure for far too long.

The Banishing Shudder Review

Moments of horror brilliance

There is a level of horror in The Banishing that also makes it very much worth watching. For one, there is the score and overall audio that works in amazing ways. Sound and music have always played a huge part in the best horror movies and this movie is a perfect example of why that is.

Also, there are scares that definitely caught us off guard. Not the classic jump scares where you wait for something to happen. Instead, it comes out of nowhere, which is so much more efficient. And terrifying. Yes, I loved it!

Unfortunately – yes, there it is again – there are also scenes where the score seems to lead to something and ends in nothing. It feels very much like this is a late editing issue more than anything else. I can’t know for sure though.

Watch The Banishing on Shudder

The Banishing was directed by Christopher Smith who already has quite a few memorable credits to his name. His feature film debut (as writer and director) was the horror-thriller Creep from 2004. Do check out that one, if you haven’t already. Since then, he’s made Severance (2006), Triangle (2009), and Detour (2016).

All the movies mentioned above are very much worth checking out. Maybe that’s why I expected more from this one as well. Actually, I also expected more from The Banishing because it had moments of pure horror brilliance, which is why I do highly recommend watching it. Just don’t expect too much from the story!

The screenplay was written by David Beton, Ray Bogdanovich, and Dean Lines. Honestly, with three writers on board, the storyline should have worked better. Or maybe it’s precisely why it ultimately felt a bit fragmented. Overall, The Banishing does have a good plot, but key elements felt rushed or forced in the worst ways.

Such a shame because this movie had the potential to reach so much more. Levels of movies that go on to become iconic films that everyone recommends. Ultimately, it felt like this movie was the first episode of a TV series. A really awesome series that I’d want to keep watching, mind you. 

The Banishing will be out exclusively on Shudder from April 15, 2021.


Director: Christopher Smith
Writers: David Beton, Ray Bogdanovich, Dean Lines
Stars: Jessica Brown Findlay, John Heffernan, John Lynch, Sean Harris, Anya McKenna-Bruce


A young reverend and his wife and daughter move into a manor with a horrifying secret. When a vengeful spirit haunts the little girl and threatens to tear the family apart, the reverend and his wife are forced to confront their beliefs. They must turn to black magic by seeking the help of a famous Occultist…or risk losing their daughter.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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