|Running time:||93 minutes|
|Release date:||Not communicated|
As part of the Tribeca Film Festival we were able to discover Mickey Reece's new film, Agnes. The excellent selection of this edition of Tribeca was a source of many excellent surprises as this film which is in the line of many films dealing with demonic possessions. One will think of William Friedkin's cult film The Exorcist (1974). However, if you look at the director and co-writer Mickey Reece is not content to propose a horror film too classic in its treatment, he prefers to focus his attention on the psychology of the characters and especially on the character of Mary played by Molly C Quinn (Castle series, Doctor Sleep (2019)).
At a convent, young sister Agnes (Hayley McFarland) explodes in a fit of rage and blasphemy, leading the church to send Father Donaghue (Ben Hall), a seasoned priest, and Benjamin (Jake Horowitz), a young priest to investigate the incident as a potential demonic possession. At the convent, the young priest takes a liking to the reserved Sister Mary, Agnes' closest friend who has suffered a particularly bad spell. As the two clergymen get deeper into the situation, everyone involved finds their respective faiths tested, especially Mary's.
The film Agnes is not content to offer just another exorcism with its over-the-top visual effects and rehashed plot. On the contrary, the film prefers to remain in a certain realism by avoiding any style effect and tackles the crisis of faith in the current society. The screenplay by John Selvidge, Mickey Reece takes a real look at the main characters and their hold on a devastating demonic force capable of making religious people doubt their true faith.
Even if the title of the film could lead one to think that the main female character is the nun Agnes, it is not so. The script gives Sister Mary all the attention she needs and above all knows how to play perfectly with the nerves of the spectators while surprising them with a film clearly divided into two parts. The whole gives the impression of having two stories connected by the character of Mary. In this, the director and screenwriter Mickey Reece shows a real audacity and with no less than twenty five independent films to his credit, he has always managed to make his films freely and his latest film Agnes really makes you want to discover the previous ones (almost all unreleased in France).
In the same way, the film is not only a horror film even if its first part is similar to a traditional horror film. It is especially in the second part that the director surprises us the most even if his film seems disjointed at times, it is fascinating by its way of dealing with the traumas of life and on what pushes some people to turn to religion or even to turn away from it. The character of Mary is not only fascinating but also benefits from the solid interpretation of the actress Molly Quinn.
The film Agnes is all the more interesting because it shows in a realistic way that we all have demons to exorcise and that we must constantly move forward in life by making choices. Whether it is in finding a home, a job or simply making a life, no one knows what awaits us when we leave for other skies. Religion has always been a way for some to prepare themselves to leave when the time comes. The character of Mary seems determined to leave her membership in a convent to try to escape her past, and try to rebuild psychologically, in that the film Agnes is an undeniable success that we can only advise you to discover when released in theaters, VOD or on a streaming platform like Netflix.
Directed by Mickey Reece
Produced by Jensine Carr, Molly Quinn, Elan Gale, Jacob Snovel, Matthew Welty
Executive producers : Molly Quinn, Elan Gale, Matthew Welty, Adam Hendricks, Greg Gilreath, Zac Locke
Written by John Selvidge, Mickey Reece
Starring Molly Quinn, Jake Horowitz, Sean Gunn, Chris Browning, Ben Hall, Mary Buss, Chris Sullivan
Music by Nicholas Poss
Cinematography : Samuel Calvin
Edited by Mickey Reece
Release date : June 12, 2021 (Tribeca)
Running time : 93 minutes
Seen on June 13, 2021 (Tribeca Festival Online press access)