The Parish (2019) Movie Review

The Parish – Haunting

Director: David S Hogan

Writer: Todd Downing (Screenplay)

Starring: Angela DiMarco, Sanae Loutsis, Bill Oberst Jr, Sara Coates, Gin Hammond

Plot: Haunted by the death of her husband, Liz uproots her daughter and moves them to a small town, where the real nightmares begin.

Tagline – Some secrets can’t be kept

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Parish starts when widowed mother Liz (DiMarco) moves her daughter Audrey (Loutsis) to start a fresh life and move away from the grieving they are suffering. With Audrey set up in a new school, she quickly makes friends with a student Caleb, a student nobody in the school has heard off.

Liz is still having nightmares around her husband’s death, with the visits becoming more frequent, he is not the only one visiting, as Liz starts to see tormented nun Sister Beatrice (Hammond), with only Father Felix (Oberst Jr) around to try and help them.

Thoughts on The Parish

Characters & Performances – Liz is the widowed mother, who is suffering with nightmares about what happened to her husband. She must figure out a way to connect the truth with the new visits the pair are receiving, she is trying her best to hold everything together. While she might be doing the best for her daughter, we don’t learn much about what has changed in her life now. Angela DiMarco is the best of the performers in this film. Audrey is the daughter of Liz, she isn’t happy about moving away from the family home, she starts acting strange around the school. She makes contact with the spirits first, becoming the target of their desires. Sanae Loutsis does well in this role, which is meant to feel distant for the most part, which is portrayed well. Father Felix is the local pastor that helps Liz feel more welcomed in the neighbourhood, he helps her uncover more of the truth about what happened in the past, offering to help solve the nightmares they re going through. Bill Oberst Jr is great in this role, he brings the character that will fill in the story holes, while remaining calm in the face of evil.

StoryThe story follows a mother and daughter who are looking to put their lives back on track after the death of their husband and father. The new town offers new challenges, with the most dangerous being the haunting spirits which seem to be coming for them, ones that have a message. This is one of the ghost investigation style stories, where we get a host of spirit characters, some are good, others are evil, each one will help the family learn the truth or risk becoming the latest victim. It plays out nicely, with how they build this world, with the potential of many different outcomes behind the motivations. It does have a strong meaning of becoming united after going through a grieving process, one of the strongest weapons to defeat the pain.

ThemesThe Parish does have some good scares along the way, with the different spirits, but it does struggle to give us a shock level scare which could stick with us. Most of the scares are more messages, which will play into the bigger story going on.

The Parish is a slow building horror, with strong haunting characters.

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