★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Horror icon Felissa Rose toplines highly regarded fear-fare auteur Tommy Faircloth’s latest as a deceased nun who isn’t finished with her murderous ways.
Directed by Tommy Faircloth
Writer/director Tommy Faircloth follows up his solid 2016 effort Family Possessions with supernatural chiller A Nun’s Curse, his fifth horror feature and his second in a row to star Sleepaway Camp’s Felissa Rose. Fans of naughty nuns and psychoshockers need to put this fine effort high on their need-to-see lists.
Two ever-arguing sisters — bitchy Gabby (Kristi Ray of Monsterland 2 and Pieces of Talent) and bookish photographer Ashley-Kae (Erika Edwards of Family Possessions and the Sleepy Hollow TV series) — and their traveling companions — Gabby’s sex-crazed boyfriend Anthony (Damine Maffei of Haunt and The Strangers: Prey at Night) and Michael, nice guy and wanna-be boyfriend of Ashley-Kae (Gunner Willis of Livescream and Faircloth’s Dollface) — wind up taking an ill-advised detour on their road trip and find themselves at an abandoned prison that happens to be the former workplace of deceased nun Sister Monday (Rose). Sister Monday was said to have killed several inmates there, which plays into Ashley-Kae’s lifelong obsession with nightmarish nuns. Ghoulish, garish, and eerie occurrences ensue.
Faircloth’s script is smart, and the dialogue for his characters helps balance them out to be more than simply generic fright-film stereotypes. Yes, scare-fare viewers have seen characters similar to these before, but Faircloth invests them with qualities that humanize them rather than making them mere body-count fodder. He also has a keen eye for intriguing shots and is highly skilled at building suspense, and delivers kills and scares with aplomb, including one attack that is nothing less than wince-inducing.
The cast consists of actors familiar to horror film fans, most of whom have worked with Faircloth before. They turn in engaging, believable performances, with Willis giving an especially strong performance as an everynerd who is hard not to root for, and Edwards equally great as a young woman battling fear and insecurity head on. Rose gives a meaty turn, investing her evil nun character with a cold cruelty and displaying a more restrained performance than in some of her recent efforts.
Faircloth has crafted an atmospheric, highly entertaining supernatural horror feature that deserves to find a wide audience. From Uncork’d Entertainment, A Nun’s Curse is available on digital platforms from May 12 and on DVD from WalMart from May 19.