Medieval Spain. Ambrosio (Cassel), a famously pious monk, is seduced by Valerio (François), a woman who disguises herself as a young brother to sneak into the monastery, and is lured into greater and greater sins until the devil comes to claim his soul.
An austere, cerebral reading of a book which is unfettered, blood-bolstered and wildly sensationalist — Lewis is the father of torture porn, not a master of subtle chills. It’s interesting and unsettling, with a charismatic lead performance, but nowhere near as shocking as it should be.
Reviewed by Kim Newman
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