Eight “Catholic Horror Films” from a Global Church

Eight “Catholic Horror Films” from a Global Church June 27, 2019

I’m at America magazine, venturing beyond America:

Everybody knows the Catholic Church dominates the world of religious horror films. The sumptuous vestments, the Latin chants, the millennia-old practices—not to mention the extremely literal belief in a living Devil, who, as Pope Francis frequently notes, still works in the world today—all seem custom-made for a genre that evokes rapture and fear. Catholic faith and practices offer a striking visual and auditory language through which horror films can explore the limits of human endurance, the persistence of mystery in a world colonized by science, the realities of death and evil, and the desire for rescue.

And yet discussions of Catholic horror cinema often revolve around the same few films. “Rosemary’s Baby” is fantastic—but there’s a whole world out there! Here are eight films in which Catholic horror speaks in less familiar accents, films I have never seen on other Catholic horror lists.

more–in case you’re wondering, my personal favorites from this list are The Tenth Victim (which I reviewed at greater length here), Valerie & Her Week of Wonders, The Devil’s Doorway (full review), and Seklusyon. This last is probably the hardest to find, but a real monstrous gem, and if you’re into “Catholic horror” it’s very much worth the effort to seek it out.


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