Catholic block

The Order

Rated 1.0 Director Brian Helgeland regroups his cast from A Knight’s Tale to take a stab at that ever-popular sub-genre, Catholic Horror. Unfortunately, instead of arena-rock-friendly anthems punching up the proceedings, we get the obligatory monks chanting mournfully over a Tubular Bells knock-off soundtrack.

Every stock image from the Catholic horror film mythos is played. People stand about nattering dogmatic doggerel endlessly while the camera-happy director tries to liven up the proceedings by having his camera provide all the movement. It doesn’t work. You can still see the acting wheels spin behind the actors’ faces as they intensely and precisely enunciate lines whose context they obviously don’t grasp.

It doesn’t help that the plot is also helplessly muddled. Something about a pouty, poster-boy priest who belongs to a CIA-like faction called The Order and is called to Rome to do something or other to this Sin Eater character. Seems that through a pagan ritual the Sin Eater can absorb the sins of others, granting them absolution and free entry into Heaven. The Church isn’t happy about this, of course. Meanwhile, there’s a dark plot afoot to pull a papal coup d’etat.

Aside from a couple of clever twists and a moment that gave me chills, The Order is still in the end deadly dull; the most utterly confusing and tedious movie I’ve seen in ages.