A year 2000 horror about a group of college students that go into an abandoned convent one night and discover it has got a demon problem. Few would blame you for just ignoring this. After all the plot outline is ripped straight from the 80s (Night of the Demons) and the year wasn’t a good time for horror.
However, you’d be missing out on a surprisingly entertaining flick. One with tongue in cheek comedy, over the top performances and lashings of gore.
It opens with a bang, a literal bang as a young woman named Christine (Oakley Stevenson) enters a convent and goes on a shooting rampage. We have no idea why she is gunning down every nun and priest in sight and at this stage of the movie, it hardly matters. As an opening sequence it’s spectacular and will make most sit that little bit straighter in their seats. It ends with her setting fire to the place and leaving.
Many years later, the now abandoned convent is said to be haunted so has attracted the attention of sororities and fraternities. They like nothing better then to break in and vandalise the place.
This is where our walking stereotypes come in. Now normally these would be a criticism of the movie but a really competent cast turn them all into likeable characters. Even the more corny roles like the goth Mo (Megahn Perry) and final girl , Clorissa (Joanna Canton). Heck, even actors in minor roles stand out. Look out for Coolio and Bill Moseley as a pair of cops who scare off the kids from messing around in the convent.
Well, all but Mo who stayed behind and gets kidnapped by a group of wannabe Satanists. Led by Saul (David Gunn) they plan to sacrifice her to summon Satan but they’re not very good at it.
Mo doesn’t take their antics seriously but ends up getting stabbed in the chest anyway. Thus immediately possessed by one of the demon that inhabit the convent. She transforms into a demon and starts to kill the Satanists. Each one who dies being transformed into a demon also.
Meanwhile the rest of the college kid group realise they need to go back. Not to help Mo but because they left a huge stash of drugs inside. Once back in though, they find themselves trapped and being hunted by the demons that now roam the halls.
Sounds fun, right? That’s because it is! Way more fun then it has any right to be. As well as the general hilarity of the wacky story, The Convent also has some legit laugh out loud moments. Probably more if you watched it with a few beers and some friends (recommended). A lot of that comes from dialogue delivery and character reactions. The cast are good and other then the odd cheesy line, they nail what they’re asked to do.
Then we have the gore. Sure, the effects aren’t always the best but they tried really hard here and didn’t mess around. We get good old fashioned decapitations, violent stabbings and a excellent skin peeling scene. It’s horrific but the colourful demonic visuals make it seem less so and the frantic filming style isn’t the best. It’s all kinds of entertainment though.
It wraps up satisfyingly too leaving you wondering why this wasn’t the movie of 2000 instead the glut of slashers that came out that year. Is it a great horror movie? Absolutely not but it is far better then you might expect and most will have a lot of fun watching it.