Camilo Vela’s The Unholy is certainly watchable though there’s a problem when there’s another movie that has virtually the same story beats.
It gets worse when the movie comes before it, in this case eleven years.
And that movie is Michael Winner’s The Sentinel (1977) and when I say that it shares story beats in common I’m being charitable because in actuality they’re virtually the same movie, which is why it’s not worth discussing from a story perspective – though you can take a look at the video below, where I look at such things in depth – so it comes down to vision and execution.
And when you look at it that way, there’s no comparison between the two.
The Sentinel is just a better movie. It’s creepy, it’s violent in the way only movies from the 1970’s can be and it features actors like Christopher Walken, Burgess Meredith, Martin Balsam, Chris Sarandon and many others.
And perhaps more importantly, it laid it’s claim to this story first.
Richard Cratina’s cinematography has an almost porn-like visual quality, which isn’t uncommon to movies of that era, though it adds to the overall seediness of the production.
As if I needed more to recommend The Sentinel, the music was done by Gil Melé (Kolchak, The Night Stalker (1971), Night Gallery (1974) and way too many others to list here.
If The Unholy were mimicking a more obscure movie it might have flown under the radar, but one that’s as interesting as The Sentinel?