The Sect ★★★½

Italsploitation III

Having not been all that impressed by what might be regarded as Michele Soavi's companion piece to this film, The Church, I didn't have great expectations, but I'm pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised.

After schoolteacher Miriam (Kelly Curtis) nearly runs down an old man (Herbert Lom) who is loitering in the middle of the road, she thoughtfully invites him back to her house to rest up.

This turns out to be something of a mistake because initial hints that he knows more about both Miriam and the house, than she might reasonably have expected, turn out to apparently be true as the moment her back is turned he opens a hidden passage into a basement that seems both bigger and older than the house itself, and a well contained therein.

It's not until the final act that things start to come together, linking both what Miriam's experiences with a prologue set in California in 1970, and we get to learn that what she's dealing with is a devil worshiping cult and that their fiendish plan has her at it's very core. And of course everyone around her, well nearly everyone, is involved.

Surprisingly Soavi keeps the usual Italian pottiness to a minimum, characters tend on the whole to act in a logical manner (unless under the influence of the Dark Lord, in which case it's understandable) and the plot generally steers clear of inexplicable turns, even if the conclusion is a bit odd.