Dominik Moll directs Vincent Cassel, Déborah François and Josephine Japy in this adaptation of 18th century gothic thriller where a monk is unwittingly corrupted by the devil.
Moll made his name making tight European Hitchcock homages. This dials back the taut thrills and replaces them with a sexual unease and admittedly spectacular period location work. He conjures up effectively creepy imagery including a character hidden behind an impassive wooden mask and a graveyard leading to hell. We rush through a lot of plot but that pace is there to retain the mystery. One that works better on page than the screen. It all boils down to the sexiness of the stars and while the leads are all very attractive, Moll seems a little coy and shy of fully exploiting their simmering lusts and inevitable downfalls. The Monk is just a touch too chaste given its core currency.
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