Satan has chosen his victims. The battle with evil has begun.
Directed by Michele Soavi
Co-written and produced by Dario Argento
Anyone who’s at all familiar with Italian horror will recognise the name Michele Soavi. If you don’t, here’s a little bit of information about him:
He directed Deliria (1987) aka StageFright: Aquarius, La chiesa (1989) aka The Church aka Demons 3, La setta (1991) aka Demons 4, Dellamorte Dellamore (1994) aka Cemetery Man aka Demons ’95.
He appears in Paura nella città dei morti viventi (1980) aka City of the Living Dead, Lo squartatore di New York (1982) aka The New York Ripper, Tenebre (1982), La casa con la scala nel buio (1983) aka A Blade in the Dark, Dèmoni (1985) aka Demons, Deliria (1987) aka StageFright: Aquarius, Opera (1987), Il gatto nero (1989) aka Demons 6: De Profundis, La chiesa (1989) aka The Church aka Demons 3, La maschera del demonio (1989) aka Demons 5, La setta (1991) aka Demons 4, Dellamorte Dellamore (1994) aka Cemetery Man aka Demons ’95.
As you can see he’s worked with the very best including Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava.
He also co-wrote this with Dario Argento and Gianni Romoli.
So La setta (The Sect) stars Kelly Curtis as Miriam Kreisl, Herbert Lom as Moebius Kelly, Tomas Arana as Damon, Michel Adatte as Frank, Mariangela Giordano as Kathryn and Angelika Maria Boeck as Claire Henri.
The film starts in South California in 1970 where a band of Satan worshippers lead by a man called Damon slaughter a band of hippies in the desert. We then move forward to Frankfurt, Germany in 1991 where more murders are taking place. Miriam Kreisl, a teacher, almost runs down Moebius Kelly in her car. She takes him to her house to rest. Miriam becomes involved in some very strange stuff involving Satan worship. Why her? You’ll have to watch to find out.
I think I was probably pretty lucky to get a copy of this on DVD. I love Soavi’s films but I’m still in the dark about what’s cut and what isn’t for the most part; whether or not this is cut I just don’t know. This should be released on Blu-ray in my opinion, the quality is fine all round but given the full treatment, much-deserved, it could be amazing.
Kelly Curtis is excellent as the protagonist and I found the story interesting if a bit hard to follow, that’s probably me, for someone who watches films a lot I’m pretty rubbish at following plots. However, I like to think I know a good film when I see one and I thought this was superb. It’s not very gory but it has some great scenes and some violence and blood and other interesting imagery, maybe some of the gore was cut, like I said, I just don’t know. Cut or not this film manages a dark tone which keeps it interesting, holds the attention, when there is violence it comes across as pretty ferocious which is nice.
Fans of Fulci, Argento and the like may find themselves drawn into The Sect, I know I was. I’m a huge fan and a bit of a student of Italian horror in my spare time and this didn’t disappoint at all, Soavi never does. Not the easiest film to review, for me anyway, but I really enjoyed it. It’s beautifully made, compelling and dark, pretty much ticking all my boxes; it probably won’t do it for everybody and the Demons 4 thing is really just name only as far as I can tell but I thought it was worth it and I will be watching it again.