Posts Tagged ‘The Monk’
From the current issue of Clash.
Based on Matthew Lewis’ transgressive 1796 novel of the same name, The Monk examines the changing fortunes of Brother Ambrosio (Vincent Cassel), a Capuchin monk in 17th century Madrid .
Beloved by the surrealists of the early 20th century (a screenplay by Luis Bunuel was eventually filmed in 1972), the story depicts Ambrosio as being utterly at one with god. As the most revered preacher in the land, he appears to be immune to temptation. But something sinister is brewing beneath the surface. What is causing his crushing headaches? What is the meaning behind his vivid, repetitious dreams? And just who is Valerio, the apprentice monk who hides his terrible burns under a wax mask?
Surrounded by Moll’s playful visuals (which stretch from Jodorowsky inspired imagery to rich religious symbolism – although repeated iris fades are an excessive novelty), Cassel is inspired as he ensues his usual bursts of energy for a meditative performance despite his growing, satanically induced demons.
While the pacing occasionally slows to a crawl, it maintains a transcendent sense of creeping unease. Although this certainly isn’t reliant on the jumps or gore that often typify the mainstream, The Monk is excellent creative, highbrow horror.