20th Mar2023

Frightfest Glasgow 2023: ‘Consecration’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jena Malone, Danny Huston, Janet Suzman, Ian Pirie, Eilidh Fisher, Steffan Cennydd, Thoren Ferguson, Alexandra Lewis | Written by Christopher Smith, Laurie Cook | Directed by Chris Smith

How would the modern world cope with the coming of a fallen angel? How would science and religion collide and what if a “scientist” was in the centre of it all? Those are the questions Chris Smith’s Consecration asks.

Grace (Jena Malone) is summoned to the Mount Saviour convent deep in the Scottish Highlands following the mysterious death of her priest brother. Refusing to believe he committed suicide, and determined to discover what really happened, Grace starts her own investigation as the nuns prepare a consecration ceremony to purify the holy site. Soon she inadvertently shines a light on murder, sacrilege and a disturbing truth, relating to the forgotten years of her own childhood, intertwined with that of the convent’s holy order and the secret it’s charged with protecting.

Set in the remote location of Scotland, Consecration is a film that echoes the creepy nature of The Wicker Man but goes full tilt on the battle between religions take on good versus evil without ever stepping into nunsploitation territory (though some more over-the-top craziness wouldn’t have gone amiss). It also feels very much like a companion piece to Smith’s Black Death which dealt with similar “supernatural” occurrences and personal battles with religious beliefs.

Elevated by the performances of Jena Malone and Danny Huston, both of whom give some of their best performances in years – especially Malone – Consecration is still not up to the dizzying heights of Smith’s Triangle. But then nothing he’s done since has measured up has it?

***½  3.5/5

Consecration screened on Saturday, March 11th as part of this year’s Glasgow Frightfest.


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