An abandoned baby is left on the steps of a monastery in this French gothic horror.
The boy soon grows up to be the most charismatic Monk within the order and people flock from far & wide to hear him preach, but when a strange newcomer arrives things begin to spiral out of control quickly for the revered Ambrosio (Vincent Cassell)
The new arrival is a boy called Valerio who wears a mask to hide burns sustained in a house fire. The mask makes Valerio a very creepy character indeed and the whispering voice that accompanies the chilling look adds to his unnerving presence.
Sadly the mask soon comes off and the entire film takes a turn for the worse when Valerio’s true identity is revealed.
Even a few murders and a great performance from Cassell can’t get this back on track. When the tension is gone, it’s gone.
The Monk is a potentially genuinely scary horror that suffers by turning into a tale of forbidden love.
It’s available on DVD in the UK now.
Ric’s Rating: Poor.