The Church is a wonderful example of Italian horror at it artistic and slightly-over-the-top best. While Michele Soavi is the Director of The Church, it has Dario Argento's imprint all over it. That's because Argento wrote the story and screenplay as well as produced the film. Every scene is beautifully and carefully shot. Nothing is really wasted. And while it takes a while for the blood to really start flowing, the build up to its climatic scene is well-paced.
The story is classic horror fare: A cathedral is built over a mass grave that contained the bodies of demon-worshipping witches in the 12th Century who were killed by Crusaders. The purpose of the cathedral was to keep this evil contained for all eternity. Naturally, evil found a way to escape this prison and wreak havoc on a group of unsuspecting victims who were in the cathedral at the time.
The acting is solid through and through although the English dubbing is a bit weak at times. I would have preferred to see this film in Italian with English sub-titles. The only name that might be known to Americans is Argento's daughter Asia Argento [Land go the Dead, xXx] who played Lotte, a sweet girl with a few secrets of her own. She is great in the role.
The cherry on the top of The Church is a musical score from Italian Prog-rock group Goblin as well as Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I absolutely adore Goblin's work on Argento's cut of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead as well as Suspiria. They always create a wonderful atmosphere for the films they work on an The Church is no exception to this rule.
So, definitely give this one a try. It's not a film that is talked about very often but it is most definitely worth your time!
RATING: Very Good.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.