The Crucifixion - Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    The Crucifixion


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    Movie: :2.5stars:
    Video: :4stars:
    Audio: :4stars:
    Extras: :1.5stars:
    Final Score: :3stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    One of the biggest clues that a film (especially horror films) is going to be a disappointment is when you see the words “Based on a true story!” or “from the writers of xxxxxx film” or “from the producers of xxxxxx film”. For some reason those three phrases tend to just scream “this is the BEST compliment we could give!” and the viewer is at the mercy of what is to come. Well, The Crucifixion has all three of those monikers slapped all over the front slip cover of the Blu-ray, which already had me a bit leery about viewing it. But there is another dark blow at work. The Crucifixion falls prey to probably one of the worst pitfalls in horror film making. It’s NOT a horrible movie, but it’s not a great movie either. Instead if falls right in the middle of that spectrum, and ends up just existing in a world of boring mediocrity instead of failing so badly that it’s humorous, nor succeeding enough to distinguish itself that way either.

    Supposedly based off of true events (at least the events wherein a Romanian priest was jailed for the murder of a young woman during an exorcism some years ago), The Crucifixion tells the story of a priest who has been arrested for supposedly performing an exorcism so long that the “victim” died on the way to the hospital. Young journalist Nicole Rawlins (Sophie Cookson) sees the jailing of the priest as an excuse to create a slam piece against the church as she carries a vendetta against the Christian faith after her mother perished some years ago. Upon interviewing the priest Nicole finds out that he very much believes that his exorcism being interrupted was the true cause of the girl’s death, NOT by any negligence of his own. Not exactly convinced, the reporter starts digging into the Romanian village’s townsfolk (including another priest by the name of Father Anton, played by Corneliu Ulici) and what she finds may breath new faith into the girl, or take her soul from her.

    As I said above. The Crucifixion falls directly into the camp mediocrity. At its worst, the film is horribly cliched and boring, but at its best the film simply hints at a much better story that COULD have been told. There are banging doors, computers that crackle and hiss only to show a startling image on screen to make the viewer jump, and a classic case of someone who has lost the faith and needs to find it again in order to overcome the supernatural forces at work. If you think that you’ve actually seen this movie before, it’s because The Crucifixion happens to be an amalgamation of about a dozen over supernatural horror films such as The Exorcist, The Omen, Amityville Horror and many others. None of these cliches and horror tropes ever end up being more than the sum of its parts, which is probably the biggest sin the movie commits, as it never becomes anything more than a series of jumbled scenes. It’s not so bad that you either hate it or the love the hammy nature of the movie, and not entertaining enough to be actually good.
    [​IMG] For a 90 minute film, The Crucifixion is inexorably long. I was constantly looking at my watching and being constantly amazed at the fact that only 5-10 minutes had gone by since the last time I checked, and it had felt like a good 20-30 minutes had passed me by. This is mainly because the film so rocky and uneven, that the movie slogs by at an unnaturally slow pace. Something that is not aided at all by the fact that the movie brings nothing new to the table, so the viewer is sitting there predicting the entire experience beat by beat.

    Even though “from the producers” or “from the writers” of usually never is a good thing, I had kind of hoped for something a bit more interesting than what we got being that it was from the writers and producers of The Conjuring and Annabelle. Both of which were decent to great films in and of themselves. Sadly what we got was a rehashed exorcism film with scenes taken from “the greatest hits” of many much better and well known films instead. The dialog was solid, the camera work decent, but nothing in the script allowed for any real growth, and the scares are so predictable as to lose their bite. A decent movie on paper, but nothing that does anything other than hug the center of the road.




    Rating:

    R for violent images and some sexuality




    Video: :4stars:
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    I can’t find out if The Crucifixion received a 2K or 4K digital intermediate, but I did see that it was filmed using a combination of Arri Alexa and Red Epic Dragon digital cameras. A choice that results in a fairly glossy (and ever so slightly flat) looking image that is indicative of the two cameras used. Shot in Romania, the film is ever so slightly blue and gray tinged, with darker scenes show a softer, and less detailed look than the much brighter daylight shots. Those daylight shots look stunning in comparison, with digital clear perfection at times, and a shinier look that shows of facial details and intimate clothing nuances extremely well. Those shadowy portions do show a little bit of banding, and a teensy bit of crush, but overall the black levels are solid, showing off good shadow detail to boot.






    Audio: :4stars:
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    Horror audio mixes are always a treat to listen to, and the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track on board the Blu-ray is well worth the listen. It’s a bit of a subdued track in comparison to others of its ilk, but it is a capable track that has more than enough oomph during the jump scare scenes. The film tends to be a very talky affair, so the center channel takes most of the heavy lifting, but the surrounds are filled out quite nicely with the ominous score and the sounds of Nicole’s car as she drives along the rocky countryside. When the demon pops out, or a jump scare moment happens the LFE kicks up with a some seriously powerful impacts. Not to mention the end exorcism which uses all 6 channels with eager gusto, pounding the listener back with an encompassing display of rain drops fall all around, as well as the rumbling and roaring of the demon while Father Anton attempts to cast it back to hell.


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    Extras: :1.5stars:
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    • "The Crucifixion: The Director’s Vision” Featurette
    • Original Trailer for The Crucifixion
    More from Lionsgate








    Final Score: :3stars:



    The Crucifixion isn’t really a bad movie. It just isn’t a good movie either and ends up falling prey to its own hype. The directing is fairly pedestrian, but stable, and the acting isn’t that bad either. It just drones on and on rehashing a dozen other films and by the end of the 90 minutes you wonder what the purpose of the movie really was. I’m a horror fanatic to the extreme, but a middle of the road horror film ends up shooting itself in the foot way more than a truly bad one ever can. Lionsgate’s technical specifications are wholly adequate for the Blu-ray, but the extras ARE a wee bit slim, if I do say so myself. While I personally would skip it, the film is solid enough to make “low rental” status for those of you who enjoy supernatural thrillers.




    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Sophie Cookson, Corneliu Ulici, Brittany Ashworth
    Directed by Xavier Gens
    Written by: Chad and Carey Hayes
    Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 AVC
    Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
    Studio: Lionsgate
    Rated: R
    Runtime: 90 Minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: December 5th, 2017







    Recommendation: Low Rental

     
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  2. tripplej

    tripplej Senior AV Addict

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    Thanks for the review. I will check it out on amazon prime/netflix once available.
     
  3. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Mike, fantastic opening. Never thought about it, but you’re right!
     
  4. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    I've noticed it a LOT over the years. It's most likely because the people coming up with those tag lines are honestly STRUGGLING to come up with nice things to say, or "hooks" to grab the consumer. comparing to previously released hits is always good, but "from the producers" or "from the writers of" usually means that there's no other recognizable people involved, which usually screams low quality. /nerd nitpick
     

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