The Monk

The Monk

Madrid, in the seventeenth century. Abandoned at the doorstep of a monastery, Ambrosio has been brought up by the Capucin Friars. After becoming a friar himself, he becomes an unrivaled preacher whose sermons draw crowds and earn him the admiration of all. Admired for his extreme rigor and absolute virtue, Ambrosio is certain he is safe from any temptation. 2.7 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
The Monk

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Thriller
Director Dominik Moll
Cast Joséphine Japy, Déborah François Vincent Cassel
Studio Metrodome Group
Release Date April 2012
Running Time 100 mins
 

Madrid, in the seventeenth century. Abandoned at the doorstep of a monastery, Ambrosio has been brought up by the Capucin Friars. After becoming a friar himself, he becomes an unrivaled preacher whose sermons draw crowds and earn him the admiration of all. Admired for his extreme rigor and absolute virtue, Ambrosio is certain he is safe from any temptation.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Antonia Quirke

It’s a silly film – 1970s soft-porny – but not without a certain ominousness.

26/04/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

This feverishly intense movie has a tablespoon of 1970s art-porn; the work of Walerian Borowczyk comes to mind, and Moll could well be a fan of The Omen.

26/04/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

What a very strange film this is, so controlled and precise yet utterly outlandish in its conjuring of evil. Dan Brown should take a look, and ponder.

27/04/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

If only it were a thicker slab. The downside of Moll’s slicing, surgical approach is that his movie resembles a trailer for Lewis’s book, not a fully realised interpretation. Without the screen time to register as fully distinct personalities, the three vixens ranged before Cassel’s Ambrosio become thin, temptressy ideas of the feminine, rather than women, and the pacing suffers from opaque motivation all round.

27/04/2012

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Time Out

Dave Calhoun

The whole thing could have been a lot camper in the hands of someone like Ken Russell in his heyday, and whether you miss such stylings will depend on your taste. As it is, Moll plays it deadly straight but struggles to maintain interest in seemingly unrelated strands of his story or to make Ambrosio’s fall from grace as sinister and compelling as it should be.

15/04/2012

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The Times

Wendy Ide

Imagine a version of Black Narcissus in which the sexual roles are reversed, with an occult undercurrent and some genuinely creepy female to male transvestism and you are still nowhere near the barking mad excesses of this adaptation of a novel by Matthew G. Lewis. Unfortunately, for all the lavishly applied profanity, it’s lacking the vital ingredient — the shock factor — which could elevate it from spirited sacrilege into the high camp cult classic it aspires to be.

27/04/2012

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Total Film

Matt Glasby

Moll makes some odd style choices – like Looney Tunes-style ‘iris wipes’ – and it’s a while before Cassel fully embraces his dark side, yet his customary charisma is what seals The Monk’s redemption.

18/04/2012

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The Sunday Times

Olly Richards

Hammer-horror plotting given Oscar-bait scale and pomp — but you can’t dislike a supernatural-psychosexual horror for playing things a little over the top.

29/04/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

It's a rather dull offering – tasteful horror for the carriage trade.

29/04/2012

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The Evening Standard

The Evening Standard

When Matthew Gregory Lewis’s The Monk was published in 1796, Coleridge said “if a parent saw the book in the hands of a son or daughter, he might reasonably turn pale”. The Marquis de Sade, however, sung its praises. But he might have thought Dominik Moll’s adaptation a trifle lacking in erotic thrust.

27/04/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

No story with this much magic, murder and general gothic juiciness should be quite so slow and ponderous.

29/04/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

Low on genuine horror (a few ravens, rats and bugs here and there don’t really cut it), Moll’s film fails to compensate with a commensurate level of tension or even atmosphere.

26/04/2012

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