Blu-ray Review: THE SECT

THE SECT (aka The Devil’s Daughter and La Setta) was co-produced and co-written by Dario Argento and directed by Argento protégé Michele Soavi. The film stars Kelly Lee Curtis, Herbert LomTomas Arana, Michel Adatte, Carla Cassola, Angelika Maria Boec and Mariangela Giordano.

In THE SECT, Kelly Lee Curtis (older sister of iconic scream queen Jamie Lee) stars as Miriam, an American schoolteacher who has been relocated to what appears to be a pleasant town in Germany. One afternoon, Miriam accidentally hits an elderly pedestrian, Moebius (Herbert Lom of The Pink Panther fame) with her car, prompting her to take him back to her house to recuperate. What Miriam doesn’t know is that their meeting was no accident and that Moebius is the elder of a dangerous Satanic sect. While at Miriam’s home, Moebius secretly drugs her and then secretes a strange insect into her nostril. Moebius’s sinister plan triggers a string of bizarre and hallucinogenic events in Miriam’s life involving nightmares, a diabolical cult leader named Damon (Tomas Arana), her magic pet rabbit, a dark well filled with mystical water and a plot involving the birth of the son of Satan.

This 1991 chiller follows an American schoolteacher in Germany who is terrorized by a murderous Satanic cult that is plotting to plunge the world into darkness. When Miriam takes Moebius back to her house after she hits him with her car, it doesn’t take long for her life to begin to change for the worse. The old man is playing possum and slowly starts doing unspeakable things to Miriam that she’s completely unaware of at first. Even her poor rabbit gets sucked into this madness. She starts to have some terrifying visions and nightmares but she doesn’t know that it’s all linked to what Moebious has been secretly doing to her. What he’s doing is preparing her for a ritual that his cult is going to perform that’s linked directly to the devil. In the end, Mirium barely escapes this terrifying nightmare of hers with a little supernatural help.

Okay, I’ve watched a lot of Dario Argento movies over the years and so many of his projects have ended up being horror classics. As a matter of fact, watching his movies was my first introduction to Italian giallo and then I ventured deeper into this genre by watching earlier movies from other directors like Bava and Fulci. This particular movie was my first introduction to Michele Soavi who was once Argento’s protégé and then he stepped behind the camera and began telling his own stories. The Sect is a strange movie but at the same time it’s also terrifying and beautiful thanks to Soavi’s camera work and his style of storytelling. It’s a slow burn that allows the suspene to build and by the final act the shocking horror has been unleashed. If you watch The Sect and don’t know who directed it you would think it’s an Argento film because the style is so similar between these two filmmakers and that’s how much influence Argento had on Soavi.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The movie has a brand new 2K scan of the original negatives with more than 45 hours of color correction exclusive to this release. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. This is a pristine home video release by Doppelgänger and Scorpion.

Bottom line is, The Sect was another first time watch for me and I really enjoyed it. As weird of a movie that it is, it’s also captivating because it lures you in with its strangeness and keeps you there until it all unfolds. The story was all about a sinister cult that sets its eyes on this unsuspecting woman and slowly drags her into this dark and terrifying abyss that she barely escapes from. We’ve all heard about or read about cults in the news over the years and this story gives the viewer a terrifying look at this satanic group that will do anything to complete its mission. I thought the cast did a really good job with the interesting characters they portrayed. There’s some impressive special effects used in the movie that helps with the horrifying element that it possesses. There’s also a few scenes that might even make some viewers cringe because they’re extremely gross. Michele Soavi did a fantastic job capturing everything he needed to make The Sect such a fascinating watch and there’s some beautiful cinematography to go along with his directing. The Sect will make its Blu-ray debut in the U.S. on February 27th and is definitely worth checking out.

Distributor: Doppelgänger Releasing and Scorpion Releasing

Run Time: 117 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: N/A

Special Features: The extras include a new interview, an imported interview from a previous home video release and six vintage movie trailers.

  • Brand New Exclusive Interview with Star Tomas Arana (29:21)
  • On Camera Interview with Director Michele Soavi (20:10)
  • The Sect Trailer (01:35)
  • The Church Trailer (02:05)
  • Sleepless Trailer (01:11)
  • Terror at the Opera Trailer (01:48)
  • Etoile Trailer (02:16)
  • The Card Player Trailer (01:59)

 

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