There are parts of “The Unholy” that take an interesting turn.
Then there are parts that don’t, which leaves this an average horror movie with little that will surprise fans of paranormal flicks.
The movie begins long before modern times, with the terrible death of a woman. We don’t see her, but we see what she sees before her death.
Then it jumps forward into the present day.
The idea of a disgraced journalist is intriguing. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“The Walking Dead”) is Gerry, who visits alleged cattle mutilations – Metallica fans (I’m one of them) will get a kick out of what is really going on.
Gerry has hoped for something to write about from this little Massachusetts town. He is disappointed … at first. Then he stumbles upon another story when he sees Alice, a teenage girl who is deaf, kneeling at a creepy-looking tree before she collapses.
The next day, the girl (new talent Cricket Brown) can speak and hear, much to the consternation of the townspeople, including her uncle, who is a priest. She has a message from “The Lady,” and begins to perform miracles – the sight of a boy in a wheelchair who cannot walk making his way to her is compelling.
Gerry wants to write this story and get his reputation back. But is this story too outlandish to restore the reputation of someone who admittedly lied before?
Representatives from the Catholic church (including an enjoyable Cary Elwes) arrive to determine whether Alice’s visions are real.
The best part of the movie is Morgan, who gives his grizzled, tormented reporter depth and sympathy.
Otherwise, horror fans will be treated to standard horror tropes and a few “Boo!” moments from a movie that might be worth a matinee or, later on, a rental.
Rated: PG-13 for foul language and paranormal horror.
Running time: One hour and 39 minutes.
At Cinemark, Davenport, and Palms 10, Muscatine.