Film / The Church

The Church or La Chiesa is a 1989 Italian horror film written and produced by Dario Argento and directed by Michele Soavi.

In The Middle Ages a village of accused heretics and witches are slaughtered by the The Teutonic Knights. The bodies are buried in a hole and a church is built on top of the burial site to contain the evil spirits.

Fast forward to The '80s when Evan, a newly hired librarian becomes uncovers the churches past and unwittingly breaks the seal and releases the vengeful spirits of the slain villagers. The Demonic possesssion or 'contagion' as it is referred to spreads like the common cold and soon, a switch is hit that seals the evil inside. Sadly, a wedding party who show up half way through the movie are trapped inside the Church with demonic spirits.

A few main characters are developed early on, but by the midpoint they're largely forgotten about when the aforementioned wedding party shows up.

In typical Dario Argento style, the film is short on story and script but big on set pieces and visuals and gore and naked woman having sex with demons and Goblin.

Dario Argento's daughter Asia Argento also plays a pivotal character.


  • Decoy Protagonist: Practically a revolving door of these. Evan, Lisa and Lotte all carry this ball but eventually the movie settles on Father Gus.
  • The Dragon: Lotte's Father to Evan after both become possessed.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Father Gus removes the device from the mouth of the Architect which causes the church to collapse
  • Humanoid Abomination: Many of the hallucinations, ghosts of people who were killed in the movie, then there's the 'thing' at the end.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Some of the ways the characters are enticed to either get into their head or outright kill themselves by the ghosts such as the Bride clawing her skin off her face because he thinks she's an old woman or the biker thinking his girlfriend is making out with a demon.
  • The Worm That Walks: The ghosts of the slain villagers form an apparition made from a mass of writhing mud-covered naked bodies.