Reviewers at this site always lament the absence of any true 'horror' in horror movies. Filmmakers usually substitute gore and violence for horror, and audiences are none the smarter. There are however, filmmakers that usually work outside of Hollywood, staying truer to their own vision of what a horror movie should be. Dante Tomaselli is one of these filmmakers, and Desecration is his 'stab' attempt at horror. Granted, this is a lower budgeted effort, so that some of the production values and acting are not that great, but he does his best to get the atmosphere right. The main issue is that although the movie has an eerie feel to it, the story is lacking in many other elements, rendering much of Desecration somewhat dull.

The basic story is that something extremely demonic is happening at a Catholic school centering on Bobby Rullo (Danny Lopes), a young student. When he was a child, something evil happened to his mother (Christie Sanford), who died. Nobody knows exactly what happened except for Bobby's grandmother Matilda (Irma St. Paule, Fast Food, Fast Women, Where the Money Is). Matilda raised Bobby and kept the secret from him. Now at school, Bobby accidentally kills a nun with an airplane (in an unintentionally hilarious sequence) and seems to be connected with another missing student. Nobody knows what is going on, until Matilda puts the pieces together. It seems that Bobby's mother is coming back for Bobby. Or something along those lines.

Desecration has all the marks of a low budget movie. The sets and special effects are passable but not great. Tomaselli is working within his limits, and he does a good job with what he has on hand. He uses the fog machine a little too prodigiously, but every special effect he uses goes towards establishing his mood. Tomaselli uses each event to increase the level of horror and uncertainty felt by the small community, and he does a better job of this than some of his peers who work with millions of dollars. What differentiates Tomaselli is that he has a vision of what he wants to convey, but is missing the funds. It would be interesting to see what he would do on a larger budgeted production.

However, he spends a little too much time setting up the story. It takes too long for Tomaselli to get his point across, and people are too confused along the way. When the ending arrives, it happens abruptly, leaving viewers lacking a feeling of finality. The acting also brings the level of Desecration down. Most of the cast of this movie has little, if any acting experience, and it shows. Lopes in particular looks extremely bored (even more so than a disaffected teen) and sounds like he is reading his lines. St. Paule does have acting experience, yet her character is little too stereotypical. As a first film, Desecration may be something that will wow critics, but with a little practice, Tomaselli could probably become a decent director.

Mongoose Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 28 minutes, Not Rated but contains some violence, gore, an easy R.

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