Catholic priests are the closest thing we have to real life wizards. They walk around with their thurible filled with calming smoke, dressed in what can only be described as magical robes. Oh, and they often speak in a long dead language. Sounds like a wizard to me.
Not to mention they always seem to be tied up with battling the evil forces that wait in the dark. For all of these reasons, and many more, Catholosism has dominated the Western world’s depiction of religious horror. With The Nun II making it clear that it’s just as viable an option today as it was in 1973.
So, if you are looking to spend some time delving into the darker parts of this ancient religion, then do we have a list for you. And don’t worry, we didn’t just fill it with The Exorcist sequels and spin offs.
The Cleansing Hour
The Cleansing Hour Streaming Options as of 9/14/2023 The Cleansing Hour Poster
Ok, the two things every horror fan knows about catholic priests is that they are sad and perform exorcisms. But what if there was a priest who had those equalities while also yelling at you to smash that subscribe button? That’s right, it’s time for catholic horror to meet streamer horror.
The Cleansing Hour gives us the story of two millennial entrepreneurs who host livestream exorcisms, which obviously go very wrong. I do love it when people who mess with the supernatural for profit get their comeuppance.
Eli Streaming Options as of 9/14/2023 Eli Poster
This surprise Netflix film somewhat flew under the radar. Which is a shame, if nothing else this film gets an A for originality. Writers David Chirchirillo (Cheap Thrills), Ian Goldberg (The Autopsy of Jane Doe), and Richard Naing (The Nun II) craft an ingenious tale of mystery in this film.
Eli follows the story of a little boy in a bubble seeking medical treatment for an auto immunedisease, but things aren’t exactly as they seem. If you want some M. Night Shyamalan twists with your catholic horror, go watch Eli.
Hellhole Streaming Options as of 9/14/2023 Hellhole Poster
What would a list of catholic horror films be without one set in a monastery? Set in 1987 Poland, Hellhole follows the story of a police officer investigating a reclusive clergy. This film delves into the more primordial side of the Catholic faith, the parts that are all prophecy and hellfire.
Writer/Director Bartosz M. Kowalski (Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight) manages to make this film not only terrifying but also somewhat hilarious. If you want to see a darker depiction of catholic horror, check out Hellhole.
Consecration Streaming Options as of 9/14/2023 Consecration Poster
The concept of good versus evil is complicated. The answer is always a bit muddier than we would like it to be. Consecration spends ninety minutes going over this nuanced idea and comes out the other side with a fantastic film.
Writer/Director Christopher Smith (The Black Death) does an amazing job of never letting the audience fully in on the plot. If you like your catholic horror with some twists and turns, go check out Consecration.
Midnight Mass Streaming Options as of 9/14/2023 Midnight Mass Poster
I could write endlessly about my love for everything Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) creates. His ability to create a suspenseful narrative puts him up there with some of the greatest horror directors of all time.
Midnight Mass shows his ability to make his audience alternative between crying and screaming better than most. Even if you are not a fan of most catholic horror, Midnight Mass should be on every horror fan’s watchlist.
Midnight Mass Official Trailer
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