The Sect – original title: La Setta and also known as The Devil’s Daughter – is a 1990 [released 1991] Italian horror film directed by Michele Soavi (Dellamorte, Dellamore) from a screenplay co-written with producer Dario Argento and Gianni Romoli. It stars Kelly Curtis, Herbert Lom and Maria Angela Giordano.
Following a 70s set prologue, events take place in present day Frankfurt, Germany.
Miriam Kreisl (Kelly Curtis) is a young schoolteacher who narrowly misses her car hitting an old man carrying a box. Reluctantly, she takes in Moebius Kelly (Herbert Lom), the mysterious old man.
What Miriam doesn’t know is that their meeting is no accident. Moebius is the elder of a satanic sect and she has been chosen to give birth to the son of Satan…
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“It’s everything you expect from a good Italian horror film (stylish, nightmarish, ingenious) and more besides (gripping, well paced, coherent). There’s a definite Alice in Wonderland vibe as Miriam follows her white rabbit down a hole in her basement, opening up a world of extraordinary sights and hidden horrors, but the film is nevertheless a true original.” Ross Horsley, Anchorwoman in Peril
“Argento, Romoli and Soavi’s clunky script makes understanding this film a needless chore, and the latter’s directorial prowess is seriously questionable. Radice, as always, is super-cool, but 180 seconds of screen time is far from a saving grace. Kill it with fire.” Joe Lewis, Digital Retribution
“The Devil’s Daughter is kinda like Rosemary’s Baby except that there is no sense of doom, it’s set in the country and the woman isn’t raped by a big demon, but instead a large pelican-buzzard looking bird that eats worms out of the gaping hole on the woman’s neck.” Happyotter
“Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen are certainly major influences, both in regards to the storyline and the themes (the Satanic Panic phenomenon was in full swing when this film was made), but Soavi does conjure up the odd cool ideas – like the demonic bird. In the end, however, it’s the score and those visuals that help paper over the cracks, while Curtis makes for an engaging heroine.” Peter Fuller, Kultguy’s Keep
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Cast and characters:
- Kelly Curtis as Miriam Kreisl
- Herbert Lom as Moebius Kelly – Dark Places; Asylum; The Phantom of the Opera
- Mariangela Giordano as Kathryn – Satan’s Baby Doll; Burial Ground: Nights of Terror; Giallo a Venezia
- Michel Hans Adatte as Franz Pernath
- Carla Cassola as Dr. Pernath
- Angelika Maria Boeck as Claire Heinz
- Giovanni Lombardo Radice as Martin Romero
- Niels Gullov as Mr. Heinz
- Tomas Arana as Damon
- Dario Casalini as Mark
- Donald O’Brien as Jonathan Ford
- Michele Soavi as the magician on TV