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Evan Spiliotopoulos
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cricket Brown, William Sadler
Writing Credits:
Evan Spiliotopoulos

A hearing-impaired girl is visited by an apparition and can suddenly hear, speak, and heal the sick. Is this a miracle or something more sinister? MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Dexcriptive Audio
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Descriptive Audio
Castillian DTS-HD MA 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 99 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 6/22/2021

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The Unholy [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 29, 2021)

Supernatural horror flicks influenced by religious topics don’t dominate the genre, but they act as a substantial chunk of those films. In this vein, we find 2021’s The Unholy.

Set in small town Banfield, Massachusetts, a young woman named Alice Pagett (Cricket Brown) can neither hear nor speak. However, one night she thinks the Virgin Mary visits her, and miraculously, she now possesses the abilities she previously lacked, with a new skill: the power to heal the sick.

Unsurprisingly, this creates a major stir among the locals. Eager to revive his career, disgraced journalist Gerry Fenn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) investigates, and he finds potential evil beneath the surface.

As noted, horror stories in this one’s vein don’t exist as especially fresh or original these days. As such, a movie like Unholy needs to bring something fresh to the table to make it succeed.

Does this occur with Unholy? God, no.

Writer/director Evan Spiliotopoulos seems like an odd choice to make this his directorial debut. A look at his filmography shows a focus on family-oriented fantasy and Disney flicks, not supernatural horror.

Of course, this doesn’t mean a filmmaker can’t branch out into different territory. However, you’d think after 25 years in Hollywood, Spiliotopoulos might want to go with his bread and butter for his initial stint as director.

Perhaps down the road Spiliotopoulos will show some skill for this kind of material. As of now, though, Unholy offers little more than a tired collection of horror clichés.

Not that Unholy lacks potential, mainly via the manner in which it looks at the “miracles”. It opens up intriguing topics related to the commodification of these actions, as Banfield threatens to become a new Lourdes and tourist destination.

However, most of Unholy either focuses on cheap fright tactics or boring exposition related to Gerry. In the latter domain, Gerry offers nothing more than a standard down on his luck role who gets the chance at career redemption.

Nothing intriguing about Gerry materializes, and Morgan finds no way to bring verve to the role. Morgan seems to punch the clock, as he appears to understand he finds himself stuck in a bad movie.

As for the former, Unholy barely attempts any kind of horror beyond the standard array of jump scares and supposedly ominous material. Rather than build organic terror, the movie relies on the most cliché techniques imaginable, none of which inspire the slightest hint of fright.

It doesn’t help that the movie makes the inevitable “dark side” completely predictable. We get a prologue from 1845 that hints at this, and then the story strongly points toward the absence of the divine.

All of this makes the inevitable reveal less than shocking, and that becomes one of many reasons Unholy offers a dull, forgettable stab at supernatural horror. I’ve seen worse but this one just goes nowhere.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus D-

The Unholy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image offered the expected high quality affair.

Overall sharpness appeared solid. A few slightly soft shots materialized along the way, but they stayed minor and negligible.

The image lacked shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes failed to mar the presentation. I also didn’t see any print flaws.

Unholy emphasized the modern palette with amber/orange and teal, and the results seemed fine. The colors didn’t overcome their stylistic restrictions, but they appeared appropriate.

Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. The movie gave us a strong transfer.

I also felt pleased with the immersive DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Unholy, as the audio seemed to accentuate the visuals well. It mixed creepy atmosphere with a mix of jolts and “assault moments” from the rear.

In the front, the track showed good stereo music and presented various elements in a logical and natural manner. The elements blended neatly and created a seamless sense of the environment. From the rear, aggressive violent components added kick to the proceedings and made the mix more involving.

Audio quality seemed positive. Dialogue consistently appeared natural and crisp, with no edginess or intelligibility issues on display. Music was clear and dynamic. The score seemed broadly reproduced and complemented the mix nicely.

Effects always were distinctive and concise, and the mix boasted fine clarity for the louder moments. Bass response always seemed rich and firm. The mix lacked the consistent ambition to reach “A” level, but it earned a solid “B+” as a fine soundtrack.

The disc opens with ads for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Monster Hunter, Fantasy Island (2020), The Craft: Legacy, Bad Boys For Life and Bloodshot. No trailer for Unholy - or any other extras – appears here.

If you expect anything creative from the supernatural horror of The Unholy, you’ll encounter little but disappointment. In more talented hands, the movie might offer some thrills, but as made, the flick bores. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio but it lacks bonus materials. Unholy

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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