New Orleans appears more as a backdrop than a setting in the art-house horror film Sisters of the Plague, which frankly is a tad strange, especially knowing of an area surrounded and shrouded in mysteries, murders, and several secrets, which might arise from the darkness on any given night. However, director Jorge Torres-Torres (Shadow Zombie [2013]) co-wrote this film with Jason Banker (Felt [2014]), presents a movie more centered in the realm of drama and mystery than mere horror, and while still touching on the subject of the supernatural and other worldly possession aspects. The actual story relies more of the view giving 100% attention to the flick, uncovering this intriguing concept, one needs to dissect every scene, and hence it might not be for every horror fan.  More content that is atmospheric exists on the screen than in most independent horror films, especially with a minimum cast two main and two supporting, no one else except the passion in the filmmaking filling each individual scene. This film achieved distribution from BrinkVision in 2017.

Sometimes, horror comes in various manners, and this movie delivers a film heavy on atmospheric design, layering in suggestive scenes fill eerily subtext and plenty of symbolism in obvious cues and hidden meanings. However, the lead character is Jo, and the drama gets downright laborious, and becomes a weight burden, showed through mental anguish by actress Josephine Decker (Saturday Morning Mystery [2012]). She is convinced that everything she absorbs into her life and spiritual self-dealing has to do with her mother’s premature death, existing to a void filled blackness and many unanswered questions. The circumstances surrounding the incident remain murky, with perhaps her father unwilling to discuss it, but in New Orleans others might hold the answer if she wants to cross the undead threshold with the help of a medium. Meanwhile, Jo gives tours of the haunted French Quarter and she brings the pains of her work home each night, plaguing her with odd dreams and twisted visions, not per say gruesome or gory rather more bewildering, bringing out saturated feelings of hopelessness. Likely, none of it helps as Jo welcomes cheesy staged witchcraft shows for some of her tourists seeking more than the basics, and each time the gag falls away replaced with more devastating torments infecting her and her family.  Her live-in father Bob, playing a drunken verbally abusive man, has buried secrets in alcohol-fused mind and hardened soul only adds to turmoil in her life. Josephine’s co-star Isolde Chae-Lawrence provides a fine performance as Kate, her girlfriend for Jo’s character to feed off, and attributing her displeasure from, this swirls erratic behavior in her life. These characters united to blend together an unholy conjuring and leading her to discover the psychic world in lies the true creativity of the movie, and dares for you, the viewer to venture forth and cross over to this other worldly place.

The movie has few flaws and those that might be present, come from a script tends for disjointed scenes, for some in the horror genre, and it becomes a problem, as many seek a structured story. Director Jorge, allows the viewer to experience the world, transcending and involving them into the world on the screen. Once more, art-house horror drives both story and characters into a new direction, an untapped and untraveled route. While Decker appears on the screen for a longer period time, actor Thomas Francis Murphy handles some of the more discomforting scenes with impressive control, distancing himself from his previous work, in such films as Demonic [2015] and Ozark Sharks [2016]. Cinematographer Ashley Connor (Knives Out [2019]) provides rich filling scenes, work with the less defining transitions and capturing the symbolism, without foreshadowing too much on it, allowing the viewer to discover the mystery at their pace.

Sisters of the Plague is truly and exclusively for fans of artsy horror design, and people who enjoy a different tale of mystery and backed by a script of drama sequences, sometimes lacking chemistry. If you, as viewer prefer carnage and candy filling horror, rather than one filled of symbolism, this definitely won’t suit your tastes. There isn’t a really on body count or gore splattering practical effects nor jump scenes, if anything quite of ad-libbing, and long developing shots and scenes, using everything to weave a story and provide a movie with dripping interpretation and questionable intentions.

IMDb Rating: 2.6/10

Baron’s Rating: 2.5/10