Having its World Premiere at Tribeca and coming to theatres from writer/director Mickey Reece and QWGmire comes the story of believing and disbelieving when it comes to AGNES.
Father Donaghue (Ben Hall) and soon-to-be priest Benjamin (Jake Horowitz) have been called up to take a case at a local convent. It seems that young sister Agnes (Hayley McFarland) is showing signs of possession and they need someone who has been trained in exorcism.
The two men enter the convent into the glaring eyes of Mother Superior (Mary Buss) who is not at all happy with the two men potentially disrupting their lives. Believing that it will only take one meeting to solve the problem, Father Donaghue convinces the nuns to do what he says and all will be well.
One nun who is not quite so sure is Sister Mary (Molly C. Quinn) who is a close friend of Agnes’. Trying to understand what is happening to her friend is not easy, and as Agnes lashes out at everyone who comes near her, Sister Mary is the only one who still sees her friend.
As everything starts to go haywire in the convent, Sister Mary decides to reenter the world and find a place for herself. Struggling from her underpaid job, a sleazy boss, rent due and discovering someone from Agnes’ past – it starts to become clear that Mary has a secret of her own.
Quinn as Mary is a young woman caught up between two worlds and a friendship that is slowly being torn apart. She is hiding behind a habit and then hides behind her own emotions which brings so many twists to her character. Quinn gives us mixed messages from start to finish but it’s the finish you have to be careful of.
Horowitz is a young priest that is not quite yet a priest, waiting to take his vows he is sent to keep an eye on the good Father. His faith and belief in the church and what it stands for is something he is not willing to compromise. Horowitz is the quiet, strong with his character representing something deeper.
Hall as Father Donaghue is a priest that has been questioning his own faith and has a short fuse about it all. Knowing the church is just one stone’s throw away from kicking him to the curb, it adds a bit more bite to the story but there is more it’s just that I’m not going to tell you!
Thumbs up to Buss as Mother Superior – what a crazy, wide eyed disturbing woman who I thought was the one possessed! Standing strong for her convent, you get the feeling she’d prefer to never see a male face ever again in her life.
Other cast include Chris Browning as Father Black, Rachel True as Sister Ruth, Zandy Hartig as Sister Honey, Bruce Davis as Earl, Ginger Gilmartin as Wanda, Chris Freihofer as Father Cappa, Rita Scranton as Sister Gertrude, Jacob Snovel as Pete, Cait Brasel as Sister Margaret and Sean Gunn as Paul Satchimo.
AGNES is a suspense film from start to finish with a cast that each brings something unique and a tad frightening to their characters. I am not Catholic, but I certainly would not want Mother Superior pointing a boney finger at me or having access to a ruler! Father Donaghue’s attitude came at a high price and probably a huge change in his belief system.
MacFarland and Quinn, when they are in scenes together bring together a friendship in a place where outside freedoms and convent life are constantly clashing making life a little tougher for both. When Quinn takes to the outside world, the real world is not going to cut her one bit of slack so – she gets a little cranky.
The flow of the film is intriguing even if the ending throws up signs of wtf? Nothing wrong with keeping the spiritual door open for another chance to make the acquaintance of the creepy world beyond.
In the end – demons travel fast!