Jeffrey Dean Morgan Stars in Sam Raimi-Produced Horror

Is one young woman’s miracle-working a blessing or a curse?


Sony Pictures’ trailer for the new horror feature The Unholy teases a visitation from The Virgin Mary unlike any other. Evan Spiliotopoulos serves as writer-director in his feature directorial debut, with legendary horror icon Sam Raimi producing. Spiliotopoulos is known best for his screenplays, including his work on The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Beauty and the Beast and the recent Elizabeth Banks-directed Charlie’s Angels. The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan leads the film as a journalist investigating the works of a young woman performing holy miracles, with Katie Aselton, William Sadler, Diogo Morgado, Cricket Brown and Cary Elwes starring.

The Unholy starts with a young hearing-impaired girl named Alice (Brown) who can one day inexplicably hear, speak and heal the sick after a supposed visit from the Virgin Mary. A disgraced journalist (Morgan) hopes to revive his career by investigating this story. As terrifying events begin to escalate, he starts to question if these are the works of the Virgin Mary or something more sinister.

The Unholy trailer sets up the premise nicely, with Morgan arriving in a New England town to report on a girl performing miracles after being blessed by the Virgin Mary. A lovely version of Schubert’s “Ave Maria” plays in the background, but slowly becomes more and more menacing as ghastly events begin to occur. I am a sucker for the uncanny and gruesome imagery of Catholic horror movies — the bleeding Virgin Mary statues, shadowy nun figures, corrupt priests, and burning crosses. This certainly doesn’t seem like a good movie to recommend to my mother, who is terrified by “devil stuff” — which means that it’s right up my alley!

Cricket Brown in The Unholy
Image via Sony Pictures

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Adapted from the 1983 horror novel Shrine (the film’s original title), James Herbert’s best-seller has great source material to pull. His book deals with themes of religious ecstasy, mass hysteria, faith healing and good ol’ demonic possession. Herbert is a terrific and prolific horror writer on the other side of the pond, often considered the UK’s version of Stephen King.

Spiliotopoulos, Raimi and Morgan have some highly anticipated additional projects currently in development that prove this is a god-tier level combo. Spiliotopoulos is billed as the writer for the upcoming G.I. Joe spin-off Snake Eyes with Henry Golding and Samara Weaving. Raimi is currently filming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with our recently seen distressed mother/grieving widow/powerful witch Elizabeth Olsen. And, it looks like Morgan may be joining his Supernatural TV son Jensen Ackles in the third season of The Boys

The Unholy arrives at theaters on April 2, which also happens to be Good Friday (love that irony). Take a look at the official trailer below.

Here’s the official synopsis and poster for The Unholy:

‘The Unholy’ follows Alice, a young hearing-impaired girl who, after a supposed visitation from the Virgin Mary, is inexplicably able to hear, speak and heal the sick. As word spreads and people from near and far flock to witness her miracles, a disgraced journalist (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) hoping to revive his career visits the small New England town to investigate. When terrifying events begin to happen all around, he starts to question if these phenomena are the works of the Virgin Mary or something much more sinister. The Unholy is produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Evan Spiliotopoulos, written for the screen and directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos, and is based upon James Herbert’s best-selling book ‘Shrine’.

The Unholy poster Sony Pictures

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