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A woman named May travels to the small town of Caravaggio to take her vows in order to join a nunnery. While there, May is troubled by horrific dreams which eventually become premonitions of real-life murders occurring around the small town, all of which seem to be related to a series of paintings by Michelangelo Merisi.
I have to admit that I cringe almost every time that I hear about a Canadian horror film. I know that Canada's been responsible for the likes of BLACK CHRISTMAS, GINGER SNAPS, MY BLOODY VALENTINE and other great films, but almost everything else hasn't exactly been what you'd call noteworthy. I don't know what it is that has my home and native land being so devoid of great horror films, but we try, nevertheless. DEATH OF A VIRGIN is Canadian filmmaker Joseph Tito's attempt at being a psychological thriller, but I'm not buying it.
Tito scores points for largely setting this film in Italy instead of trying to fake it. From scenes of the beautiful countryside to a dank hotel, Tito's attempts to evoke emotion aren't lost on me. Adding to this is the attempt at incorporating classical art into your story and making a film out of that is an interesting idea, if not an ambitious one. Sadly though, the typical problems independent features almost always have are here in this one.
The problems this film faces begins with our characters, who aren't exactly interesting, unless you like references to other film characters that you've seen countless times. We have our plain, quiet protagonist in May, a shallow fashion freak in Lisa with huge lips that won't stay shut, and the alluring and intelligent but ultimately 'meh' foreigner in Sandra. Problems progress to the typical independent film problems like consistency in direction (the initial arrival and booking of the rooms in Caravaggio), lack of budget (despite shooting the film in gorgeous Italy), awkward acting, camera work and more. But the film's biggest problem is just that it's simply not an attention-grabber. From the very first frame, I tried to give the film a chance, but as things progressed, it just didn't stick.
Death Of A Virgin may be an interesting as a painting, but DEATH OF A VIRGIN as a film is not. What could've been a neat concept involving one of Michelangelo's works turns out to be full of suspect and unrelatable characters, weak script and an overall sense of disinterest. I know that things are tough for indie directors at times, but you can usually see something positive for those productions that do have something about them that makes you want them to succeed. This film, however, isn't one of those productions.
Video: Screener disc.
Put it this way: I started to watch this film, but my interest gradually dropped until the 7-3 blowout hockey game between the Canucks and Sharks won out. There's just nothing to hold your attention with uninteresting and clichéd characters, inconsistent direction and an overall missed opportunity. Tito tries to buck the trend of lackluster Canadian-based films, but just can't pull it off.