MMT Quick Review of THE PARISH by guest contributor Samantha Hollins

THE PARISH photo courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment.

There is something especially daunting about films that co-stars religious attributes. Those chills get exceedingly deeper than a slasher horror film. The ideology of supernatural experiences is on record in real life. It can be petrifying knowing these sorts of things can really be happening. Going into a film with that notion is what gets that adrenaline flowing as soon as it begins. So yes: as a horror film buff I was ready! 

As I entered the scenery of The Parish (directed by David S. Hogan) I was immediately drawn into the mother (Liz, played by Angela DiMarco) and daughter’s (Audrey, played by Sanae Loutsis) dynamic, who were both mourning the horrific death of their husband and dad (respectively).

Their individual ways of handling their pain introduced the creepy factor, as they tapped into the unknown. The hope of leaving the past behind and starting all over carried them on a new quest, in a new town, residing in a new house…full of new issues. 

The trauma that plagues Angela’s dreams became so vivid that I could feel the steepness of her sorrow. It became melancholy and scary at the same time, giving off a relatable visual of how nightmares could seem like it’s playing out right in front of you. 

Just when their new normal settles in, things and people are not quite what they seem to be. Every moment is encased with revelations that opens another aspect of the mystery. When home starts to feel unnerving it really hits my anxiety because we’ve all had the moments when we thought something wasn’t right. 

I literally felt how Catherine Joy transposed soft-hearted moments into a menacing soundscape, stretching from scene to scene. When the music resonates from the chest to the belly, it is working its magic on all the visuals. 

I get excited when a storyline I thought was going to be predictable turns into the unforeseeable. The Parish kept the simplicity dipping into quick shocking components. The young daughter, Audrey, helped to make those moments quite satisfying to my Fright-Fest pallet. She seemed to be seriously possessed by her sadness. And horror movie vet Bill Oberst’s (who played the priest) calm demeanor had its own sense of eeriness.   

Over the years I have seen many variations of horror films that take on sinister, evil entities. The Parish (written by Todd Downing) has a distinctive scenario of its own. This genre never gets old as long as it is renewed…as it has been with this hair-raising film. I rate it 5 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.

THE PARISH premiered on DVD and Digital Tuesday, March 16.

Samantha Hollins, aka Ghetto SongBird, is a multi-talented Rock singer/songwriter, guitarist, poet/writer, photographer and all around creative soul who passionately enjoys sharing her positive artistic energy and harmonic vibes. You can follow her group The Culture Rock Griot on Facebook and get additional information at her site

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