written by Andy Demetrio, Shaun Fletcher, Sara Sometti Michaels and Clint Sears
directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
by Walter Chaw The title music announces a debt to Rosemary's Baby and indeed Mary (Sabrina Kern) is with child and at the mercy of a religious cult. Her boyfriend Jimmy (Justin Miles), however, is a decent fellow for 1957, nothing like Rosemary's husband. The only hint he's a beatnik is that he likes to blow that horn. There are a few problems with St. Agatha: it's overly familiar, it's tame as nunsploitation goes, and its twist is obvious and unimaginative. Before long, Mary's torment at the wayward girl's home to which she's run after getting knocked-up starts to feel like sadism for its own sake, with the solution to the piece already clear to everyone the second there's mention of the girls looking nice for "the donors" coming on visiting day. It's death for a horror film to only be smarter than the segment of the audience that has never seen a horror film. Carolyn Hennesy rolls her lines around in her mouth as the evil Mother Superior, counting money and renaming Mary for the titular sainted martyr after making her "Fear Factor" some pre-chewed food and spend the night in a coffin. Never frightening, St. Agatha makes a bad mistake in weaving in an extended flashback (which calls out to Antichrist, of all things), so that Mary and the other girls imprisoned at the home never feel truly imprisoned there. Every time you leave a claustrophobic setting like this, it lets the audience off the hook; imagine Suspiria, but with periodic flashbacks to Suzy's childhood as a ballerina. Needing a few more passes at the typewriter--despite a telephone book's worth of credited screenwriters--as well as couple more on the Avid, St. Agatha at least looks and, overbearing score notwithstanding, sounds pretty good.