Crucifixion, The. Reveals How A Supernatural Horror Film Should be Done.
Crucifixion, The. Film Details
Director: Xavier Gens
December 5th, 2017
MPAA Rating: R
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Running Time: 1h 30min
Social Networking: Facebook
When Nicole comes in contact with Father Anton (Corneliu Ulici) more and more inexplicable events occur. The pair begin to believe that the priest lost the battle with a demon.
Beautiful, motivating, revealing are terms not emblematic of supernatural horror films. This is true with productions that concentrate on demonic possession. Think about it, there are so many films on the market that express the same ideas that audiences have become numb to the pivotal concept. Demonic possession themes have developed into a cornerstone in Horror cinema. Yet every film director wishes to generate the next redefining entrant or cult classic. William Friedkin‘s 1973 film is the bar that many filmmakers are struggling to outperform in terms of emotional content and character-driven narratives.
There are a few releases that satisfy these credentials yet it is few. Personal interpretation is appropriate in this topic of conversation. As an experiment ask any Horror movie connoisseur to identify a defining demonic possession film and you’ll receive a handful of film titles.
Am acquainted with Xavier Gens’ work and have favorites to mention from his contribution to Horror cinema. When I gained insight that The Crucifixion was Gen’s next release it ignited my interest. Although Horror film directors may establish their careers with outstanding works creative imagination may accompany them into the next project. My concern in this circumstance is learning if Gens still had that fire for terrifying visual storytelling.
First, The Crucifixion had many surprises. Upon the opening frame, the introductory view was discovering another production emulating ordinary subjects. This soon became a diminishing doubt. Instead of presenting common horror-inspired storytelling the writing team of Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes produced a powerful, thought-provoking narrative. Let’s begin with the character development. For casual moviegoers, this may not be of significance.
The leads, both the antagonist and protagonist need to communicate transmogrification. This development starts in ACT I and concludes in ACT III. Actress Sophie Cookson interprets the role of Nicole Rawlins, a journalist with zero confidence in faith.
The calibrated backstory for this character serves two purposes;
1. The role matures throughout the narrative
2. The role sets the platform for a compelling social commentary.
I reserved sympathy towards this role and her story arc. The character becomes grounded in a persuasive framework that echoes modern attitudes toward spirituality. For the adversary, it is not physical but a malignant deity that serves as a metaphor for life’s difficulties. Showing this observation in a literal sense would not render well into a Horror film. Therefore the writing team used a broader menace in the construct of a formless, invisible monster. Well played. The Crucifixion will not garner any awards for originality but the narrative fosters recognition as a good Mystery, Horror film with supernatural subtext. While the plot sounds all too familiar, I enjoyed the Mystery inspired principles offered in The Crucifixion.
The film draws from the dreadful narrative provided in Scott Derrickson‘s 2005 directorial work and recycles it for an exceptional viewing. The Crucifixion expresses a classic good versus evil design but with reduced cliché schemes.
The performances were remarkable. Actress Sophie Cookson had a charismatic aura about her nature. It is her innocent yet inquisitive tonality that connects with audiences. Sexiness got introduced to Cookson’s role, but it wasn’t required. A suggested nude scene and a slight glimpse of her breasts almost contaminated this well-performed role. Corneliu Ulici depicts the standard priest to save the day with his role as Father Anton. Ulici, however, offers a satisfying translation of a commonplace personality. One feature that makes Ulici’s portrayal acceptable is his relaxed yet authoritative poise.
Xavier Gens brings an exquisite view of revealing horror. The scenes including the B-Footage in The Crucifixion were poetic. I muted the volume while watching the film for a second sitting. This allowed me to grasp how the scene evolved without audio contaminants.
Daniel Aranyó adds to the brilliant displays shown on screen with his polished cinematography work. The negative influences in this film are the jump scares. These additions mar an otherwise tense Horror film. Each jump scare set-up seemed predictable and Gens felt the need to regurgitate the process throughout the course of the film. There are many prominent sights in The Crucifixion. The opening scene of the exorcism and the reveal of a swarm of insects between the tormented woman’s legs felt original.
The Crucifixion offers many highlights that create a deserving viewing. Horror aficionados will appreciate the haunting images and narrative. While casual genre moviegoers will find Gens’ work to be impressive. Each member of the cast contributed with performances. I have to add that actress Brittany Ashworth did not over-exaggerate her illustration of a tormented woman. Ashworth appears to have done her research in presenting a plausible yet entertaining portrayal. This is a relief since typical characterizations are over-the-top nonsensical actions.
The special effects (CGI) are composed at a minimum and applied to communicate realism. Wise decision. Regarding the practical effects, the make-up department was the behind-the-scenes magicians that made each display of havoc come to life.
The Crucifixion has a deep-rooted social commentary that does not become muddled with fanciful Horror eye candy.