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Fantasia 2021: “Agnes”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Most people have been tested by the challenge of time, by the hardship of circumstances, and shattered faith. It’s not easy to witness the ugly, horrible and wicked act of an individual who is more like a grim shadow of a human being. However, what do we do when we see that? What would you do, if you were a hardcore believer in God, and then you realize maybe you should not be one?

Tough questions are always being asked, and one of those is being addressed in Mickey Reece’s “Agnes”. It follows the titular character (Hayley McFarland), a nun, who seems to be possessed by demonic power. Her behavior is scary, language too coarse, and on top of that, extremely violent. The church invites the priest Father Donaghue (Ben Hall), a trained exorcist who does not believe in exorcism. He brings with him a young priest, Ben (Jake Horowitz), who does not know what he is about to get into. In the meantime, as the horror unfolds, Agnes’ friend Sister Mary (Molly Quinn) watches in disbelief as she begins questioning her faith, which will lead her to leave the Church in search of answers she does not know and may not exist at all.

Molly Quinn as Sister Mary manages to deliver an image of a frightened and confused nun whose past experience will resurface helping her to find the right path for her future. As for the film, ‘Agnes”, written by Mickey Reece and John Selvidge, it is a decent horror film that tries to respect its viewers’ feeling by not going too deep into the faith, its origin or questioning its existence altogether. In fact, at some point, it raises logical questions, which is what makes this film work. So be prepared for an unconventional exorcism, the crisis of faith, and the life-changing event that will define the whole film.

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