Doppelgänger and Scorpion Releasing Return to the Giallo Well for THE SECT

Aka The Devil’s Daughter, aka Demons 4, gets a new Blu-ray release

If Dario Argento has put his name on a film, you can be damn sure it’s worth checking out. The Italian Giallo maestro “presents” and produced The Sect, a twisted and moody effort directed by Michele Soavi. It’s the latest welcome release from Doppelgänger and Scorpion Releasing, who seem to have taken it upon themselves to give the Giallo series of horror films new life with their stateside releases.


There’s fear around every corner with a diabolical sect on the loose! Kelly Lee Curtis (sister of Jamie Lee) stars as Miriam, an American schoolteacher relocated to Germany in an area plagued by a satanic cult that murders and tears out the hearts of anyone who betrays it. One afternoon Miriam accidentally hits an elderly pedestrian, Moebius (Herbert Lom, The Pink Panther, The Dead Zone), standing in the middle of the road; alarmed, she takes him back to her house to recuperate, What Miriam doesn’t know is that their meeting was no accident and that Moebius is the elder of a dangerous Satanic sect. While at Miriam’s home, Moebius secretly drugs her and then secretes a strange insect into her nostril. Moebius’s sinister plan triggers a string of bizarre and hallucinogenic events in Miriam’s life involving nightmares, a diabolical cult leader named Damon (Tomas Arana), her magic pet rabbit, a dark well filled with mystical water and a plot involving the birth of the son of Satan. Directed by Michele Soavi (The Church, Stagefright) and produced by maestro Dario Argento (Suspiria, Opera), this hallucinatory shocker now merges from the darkness with a new HD transfer!

The Sect was the third film from Michele Soavi, who previously worked as an assistant director on several Dario Argento’s films, including Tenebre, Phenomena, and Opera, as well as Lamberto Bava’s Demons. Soavi was groomed by Giallo royalty you might say, and he certainly shows the skills he picked up from such apprenticeships, while being reminiscent of Barker and Carpenter too. The story is one perfectly suited to the mounting mood and horror of Italian cinema. Miriam (played by Kelly Lee Curtis, older sister of Jamie Lee) is a schoolteacher working in a small German town. One day she knocks down an elderly pedestrian named Moebius (Herbert Lom). She tends to him, but is unaware of his deliberate actions in ensuring they meet. He befriends her and secretly drugs her, setting off a string of strange events and a series of hallucinations drawn from her nightmares, both escalating until the truth behind Moebius, and the Sect he represents, reveals itself.

The Sect is often beautiful to behold and crafts an unnerving mood, albeit in its own sweet time. Such is the wont of Giallo and Italian cinema in general; these storytellers get there when they get there. Atmosphere is the first concern, one tended to with aplomb, while a talented cast keeps you engaged as the plot meanders along. It’s familiar fare, sure, but retold with style. Soavi imbues energy with his kinetic, and often frenetic, camerawork, and delivers a number of set-pieces that linger long in the mind. It’s surprising his efforts haven’t garnered more appreciation over the years; they certainly deserve it.

The Package

This release showcases a new 2K scan of the original negatives with more than 45 hours of color correction applied. The transfer is pretty wonderful to behold, impressive detail, contrast and color, without an real indication of over-processing. Special features are:

  • New Exclusive Interview with Star Tomas Arana: Running nearly 30 minutes, it’s fascinating to hear actors share their experience with Italian directors who always seem to have their particular quirks.
  • On Camera Interview with Director Michele Soavi: Around 20 minutes in length.
  • Trailers for: The Sect, The Church, Sleepless, Terror at the Opera, Etoile, and The Card Player

The Bottom Line

The Sect is an often beautiful and frequently sinister slice of Giallo cinema. Soavi combines his apprenticeship under Argento and Bava with some tricks of his own. Combined with a fine restoration from Doppelgänger and Scorpion releasing, this one deserves your attention.

The Sect comes to Blu-ray and DVD on February 27th, 2018.

Previous post The Quiet Astonishment of ANNIHILATION
Next post Immediately Open LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN