For the best of the Horror/Cult/Exploitation film experience
The Devils (1971)
As someone who watches and reviews films you are always looking for something that stands out in someway or another. Sometimes you do and most of the time you donít but you always try and get something good out of anything you watch, at least in my personal opinion. That leads me to the review of Ken Russellís 1971 masterpiece The Devilís. This film follows a conflicted priest Father Grenier (Oliver Reed) who is constantly struggling between his religion and his humanity. Itís a very strong film that is very opinionated as far as the church goes, and it seems to be more relevant in this day and age than it was when it was released in 1971. Itís based on Aldous Huxley's "The Devils of LoudonĒ which is supposedly based around fact. This film is truly an underrated masterpiece and is one of the most beautifully shot films Iíve ever had the pleasure to see. Russell really brings out the style in this film and I honestly canít say enough good things about the set designs, the costumes, and just about every level of The Devils is aesthetically perfect. Russell isn't afraid to put ideals out there and let you think of them as you will and to me that's something that makes Russell a remarkable filmmaker. Oliver Reedís performance in the film as Father Grenier is emotional, gutrenching, and hateful all at the same time. I would even be so bold to say that itís Reedís greatest performance of his entire career. Also, Vanessa Redgrave turns in a chilling and bold performance as Sister Jeanne, who not only pulls off her role but does something's that another actress may not have taken it to. The film literally takes you through every human emotion scene by scene and succeeds on a level that many films simply donít and couldnít accomplish. That's simply how powerful this film truly is, and deserves praise on so many different levels. Most people remember Russell from directing the films Tommy and Altered States, but believe me when I tell you that his magnum opus is The Devils. I could sit here and rant and rave about this film for days, but I think you already get the point by now. Its not an easy film to see unless you can find and ebay copy or maybe at a convention you can find it as well. I know it's cliche, but they don't make films like this anymore, it's truly brilliant and Russell shows off that he's a masterful director that deserves a lot more credit than people may think.
Rating - ****