2022, Movies

The Devil Conspiracy (2022, Nathan Frankowski)

This is a dull self-serious religious horror movie that recycles a bunch of religious thriller/horror movie cliches to pair it with the art equivalent of Jurassic Park. It is cast with a whole bunch of actors who look like more famous actors. But it is shot on location (somewhat) and, in part due to its CGI, the budget seems high enough so it doesn’t look as bad as it feels.

I’ve never had much time for these Battle of Good vs. Evil movies involving the Catholic Church but, ever since the revelations about the latest evil perpetrated by said Catholic Church, I think it’s laughable every time they are the good guys. I mean, they literally protect pedophiles but we’re supposed to be worried about Lucifer. Sure…

I haven’t read my bible in decades at this point but I’m pretty sure they get the mythology wrong. That doesn’t really matter, though, as that’s not really the point of these things. The point is to revel in the imagery and the mysticism – there’s a lot of gothic imagery here, before the CGI goes really crazy. And people have long loved the idea of the spawn of the Devil finding its way into this world. So why not just recycle that plot again but with some kind of DNA spin?

This company has figured out how to bring back famous Italian artists and musicians (they are only Italian, hilariously) and now they are going to use that to use the Shroud of Turin to bring back Jesus, only it’s Bad Jesus. (Or Devil Jesus. Take your pick.) Nobody seems to care that the Shroud of Turin dates from the Middle Ages and absolutely does not have Jesus’ DNA on it. Anyway…

This movie is very silly but everyone is very serious. It gets extra silly once we go to Hell. (Technically, the film begins in Hell but, you know, you don’t really expect the film to go back there.) There’s this group of, like, lost young people who Lucifer has, I guess taken to Hell but they weren’t supposed to go there. They’re called “The Stolen” they’re just an excuse to free our hero once he gets imprisoned in Hell. It is very silly.

CGI has allowed movies like this to do so much more than they used to be able to. You couldn’t literally go to Hell in the past in a movie like this because it would have looked horrible. Now they can do it rather easily. And the CGI in this movie is actually pretty good, as that’s where we’re at in 2023. I’m not sure what they’re trying to show a lot of the time – like with the weird snake-like things that keep coming out of Lucifer – but it doesn’t look like shit. (It is too dark, though.)

It does let them get into some silly machinations that do substantially weaken what was already a pretty dumb story. Sometimes sticking to real world locations is for the best.

Anyway, this movie is dumb and bad but it looks okay and the actors, who all mostly look vaguely like more famous actors, are mostly quite decent.


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