6.3/10
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The Sect (1991)

La setta (original title)
Unrated | | Horror | 1 March 1991 (Italy)
A lonely kindergarten teacher discovers a secret well in the basement of her house, and soon finds herself being followed by a murderous Satanic cult.

Director:

Michele Soavi

Writers:

Dario Argento, Gianni Romoli (as Giovanni Romoli) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kelly Curtis ... Miriam Kreisl
Herbert Lom ... Moebius Kelly
Mariangela Giordano ... Kathryn (as Maria Angela Giordano)
Michel Adatte Michel Adatte ... Frank
Carla Cassola Carla Cassola ... Dr. Pernath
Angelika Maria Boeck Angelika Maria Boeck ... Claire Henri
Giovanni Lombardo Radice ... Martin Romero
Niels Gullov Niels Gullov ... Mr. Henri
Tomas Arana ... Damon
Donald O'Brien ... Justice Jonathan Ford
Yasmine Ussani Yasmine Ussani ... Samantha
Dario Casalini Dario Casalini ... Mark
Paolo Pranzo Paolo Pranzo ... Steven
Richard Sammel ... Truck Driver
Ralph Bola Mustapha Ralph Bola Mustapha ... Second Truck Driver
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Storyline

A spree of grisly murders is perpetrated in Frankfurt by a group of Satan worshippers. A school teacher almost runs over an old man with a box and takes him in. It's no accident that the old man has come into her life, and it quickly becomes apparent that he has plans for her, plans that involve a permanent future with the Satanic cult. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Satan has chosen his victims. The battle with evil has begun.

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

1 March 1991 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devil's Daughter See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ADC Films, Penta Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Romero was named after 'Romero, George A.', who writer/producer Dario Argento had just co-directed Two Evil Eyes (1990) with. See more »

Goofs

The opening scene states the year is 1970, but the song playing is America's "A Horse with No Name", which came out in 1972. See more »


Soundtracks

A Horse With No Name
Written by Dewey Bunnell (as Lee Bunnell)
Performed by America
Warner Bros Music
Courtesy of Warner Bros Music Italy America
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another delight from Michele Soavi!
14 November 2004 | by Snake-666See all my reviews

After nearly running over an ageing man (Herbert Lom), Miriam (Kelly Curtis), feeling responsible, offers the old man a place to stay for a short while. However, this innocent invitation triggers a series of events that would change her life forever.

'The Sect' is at once an enthralling, mesmerising and stylish offering from Michele Soavi, the protégé of writer and producer, Dario Argento. Blending several styles of horror, Soavi's own unique presentation of the subject matter succeeds almost in entirety at being haunting, atmospheric and compelling. While one can see the influence of his mentor, Soavi is daring enough to put forth his own, unique brand of directorial style and flair to give 'The Sect' a distinctive appearance that sets it aside from many similar works of the era. His respect for the story and viewer is clear for all to see, never once opting for a style-over-substance approach, instead offering the stylistic elements as an accompaniment to what is already a considerably impressive film. The slow-pacing is an advantage to the film rather than a detriment and is unequivocally intentional. Soavi's methodical approach to storytelling allows him to not only develop his central character, but to gradually increase the tension in a way that does not feel forced and thus makes the climax all that more meaningful. Surrealism, unsettling visual elements and intriguing POV shots are all used to add to the atmosphere but never to become the main focal point. Above all, the keys to the grandeur of 'The Sect' are subtlety and mystery; everything else is but a bonus.

To say that 'The Sect' is without flaws would unfortunately be inaccurate. However, the flaws are particularly minor in the scale of things and the negative effects of these lapses are virtually negligible. While great care has quite obviously been taken to ensure that the storyline remains rational, there are a couple of instances where illogical behaviour and actions are briefly noticeable. As mentioned, these have very little negative effect on the overall film but their use as plot devices is questionable to an extent. It is also worth pondering whether on occasion Soavi went into too much detail perpetuating the tension of certain sequences and disregarded the actual climax of the scenes? For the most part, Soavi took full advantage of the script, presenting an array of memorably shocking and surprising scenes, yet once or twice, the 'money shot' was lacking in the impact that one had come to expect and had a rather unsatisfying short-term effect. Despite these instances, it is worth considering that 'The Sect' managed to almost wholly steer clear of becoming predictable, almost as if Soavi and Argento could predict themselves how an audience would react and what they could expect.

For those who doubt that modern Italian cinema is capable of producing innovative and enthralling horror, free of the paper-thin plots and unnecessarily excessive gore that has scarred so many other genre productions, 'The Sect' is the film that can prove otherwise. An occult horror/thriller full of twists and turns, shocks and surprises, surrealism, nightmarish dream sequences, symbolism, mystery and style, 'The Sect' is a film that only uses a bare minimum of special effects and instead acts almost as homage to the suspenseful horrors of yesteryear, such as 'Psycho' (1960), 'The Innocents' (1961) and 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968). Almost a pure work of art, 'The Sect' is Soavi staking a claim as possibly one of the best directors of the modern era. My rating for 'The Sect' – 8/10.


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