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Unholy (2007)
--Review by Nic Brown

Nazis, the word itself conjures up immediate and strong images for most people. It was known that Hitler and his Nazi government had a strong interest in both conventional science and the occult. After World War II there was a scramble between the Russia and the United States to see who could get the most of Germany's scientific brain trust. Many people know that this race resulted in a number of Germany's top scientists coming to the U.S. to work on projects for the government in exchange for amnesty for war crimes.

Recently, due to the Freedom of Information Act, it was discovered that it wasn't just rocket scientists that were being drafted by the super powers. German scientists who specialized in the occult were also secreted away by the government to continue their experiments, in the name of democracy of course. This is the believable premise behind the new film from director Daryl Goldberg called Unholy.

The film starts with Martha (Adrienne Barbeau) coming home to find her daughter Hope (Siri Baruc) about to kill herself. Martha tries to stop her but is not able to and Hope dies leaving a basement filled with strange paintings of a man in Nazi garb. After her death Martha's estranged son Lucas (Nicholas Brendon) comes home and the two of them begin to try and piece together their relationship and find out why Hope ended her own life.

Martha and Lucas discover that there is a great deal of mystery in the small town they live in.

Nicholas Brendon wonders where Buffy is when he needs her...

As neighbors reveal secrets and the legend of a mad Nazi scientist and his army of followers become more and more believable. Time travel, mind control and invisibility are the unholy trinity of this true mad scientist’s work. The question soon becomes are these all just legends or are Martha and her family just part of a twisted experiment, conducted by Nazis and sanctioned by our government?

Unholy is not a slasher film, it's not a ghost story and it's not a remake of a Japanese film! Unholy is more a psychological thriller than a horror film, but don't worry there is still plenty of blood and violence to keep the viewer's attention. The film is also original, which is something that many of the cookie cutter horror films of today are not. The story is complex and it is also ambitious, pushing the limits of its budgetary constraints. Adrienne Barbeau and Nicholas Brendon both give excellent performances in the film and although her role was brief, Siri Baruc's performance as the daughter driven to suicide by forces unknown, steals the show. So take the time to check out Unholy. It is a well made low budget thriller that makes the audience think and pay attention, two things that many films today, even with bigger budgets and better special effects don't manage to do.



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