St. Agatha – USA, 2018: updated with first trailer

‘Atone for your sins.’

St. Agatha is a 2018 horror feature film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Abattoir; The Barrens; 11-11-11; Saw II; III and IV; et al) from a screenplay by Andy Demetrio, Shaun Fletcher, Sara Sometti Michaels and Clint Sears (Tales of Halloween); it stars Sabrina Kern, Carolyn Hennesy and Courtney Halverson.

Set in the 1950s, in a small town Georgia, where a pregnant con woman named Agatha is on the run and seeks refuge in a convent hidden in deafening isolation.

What first starts out as the perfect place to have a child turns into a dark layer where silence is forced, ghastly secrets are masked, and every bit of willpower Agatha has is tested. She soon learns the sick and twisted truth of the convent and the odd people that lurk inside its halls.

Agatha must now find a way to discover the unyielding strength needed to escape and save her baby before she’s caged behind these walls forever…

Uncork’d Entertainment will release St. Agatha in the USA theatrically and on digital in the first quarter of 2019.

Reviews:

“Bousman knows how to ramp up the tension in measured strokes, barely allowing the audience time to gasp for more air. His nuns are brutal in the most exploitive way, finding grisly new ways to torment their wards that don’t involve gore (though gore is plenty). If your gag reflex is strong, prepare to get tested with St. Agatha.” Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting

“The film features themes of the cynicism and hypocrisy of religion, repression but never wallops the audience over the head with it. Loaded with creepy imagery, vicious nuns, and over the top gore moments, St. Agatha hits all the right marks and delivers some very good scares along the way.” Mike Vanderbilt, Daily Grindhouse

“As the film progresses, we also fall into a few typical genre tropes which age St. Agatha and make it feel a little tired. Although a refreshing redirection for Bousman, St. Agatha just doesn’t take-off in the way that one would hope. Laden with cliches, and a frustratingly slow pace, St. Agatha is watchable, just not that memorable.” Kat Hughes, The Hollywood News

“The resolution is satisfying, with things getting wrapped up as well as they could be – one overblown death scene, involving a novel weapon, is a standout. But nevertheless, it watches more like a rosary of great bits than a great film in its own right. Still, knowing the last thing Bousman wants is to be middle of the road, I’d challenge anyone to say they find it dull.” David S. Smith, Horror Cult Films

” … a lot of distorted images, colourful lighting effects, familiar tropes […] Like most films set in evil institutions, it climaxes with riot and revolution – as tables are turned, and the bad eggs get scrambled. Perhaps overlong at 102 minutes, it’s still admirably furious about pious hypocrisy.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“This film was emotionally intense and genuinely terrifying! The nightmarish story is beautifully shot, with a washed out look that gave us a vintage feel. The creaky old house had its own moments too, when we held our collective breaths as escapes were attempted. Sometimes silence is something missing in horror films. It was used here perfectly to keep the tension peaking throughout.” Vicky Woods, Morbidly Beautiful

“When Mary enters the convent it’s as though we’ve stepped into another world, lorded over by an oppressive force. That warped reality is woven into the film visually, but its story is relatively straight forward and doesn’t hold you for more than a scene or two at a time.” Jonathan Deehan, Nightmare on Film Street

Background:

Bousman has commented on the movie: I have always been attracted to the dark, sinister, and macabre. But, as I find myself getting older and now being a dad, blood and guts no longer amuse me. I need something more. I look for content, character and themes.

St. Agatha spoke to me as it takes a look at the unflinching horrors that befell women in the 1950’s and how that parallels to the not so different horrors that are befalling them today. It was amazing to work with such a strong female cast, and I look forward to pulling back the curtain and letting others glimpse into our sinister world.”

Having been picked up by Octane Entertainment, St. Agatha premiered at the Overlook Film Festival in April 2018.

Main cast and characters:

  • Sabrina Kern … Mary – The House (short)
  • Carolyn Hennesy … Mother Superior – Two Sentence Horror Stories; Necessary Evil
  • Courtney Halverson … Catherine – Unfriended; Red Clover; Ghost Whisperer
  • Seth Michaels … Father Andrew
  • Trin Miller … Paula
  • Lindsay Seim … Doris
  • Shaun Fletcher … Deputy Pearl
  • Maximus Murrah … William
  • Hannah Fierman … Sarah
  • Myles Cranford … Foreman Johnson, DVM

Filming locations:

Madison, Georgia, USA

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