Christopher Smith is the man behind some brilliant movies like “Creep,” “Severance,” “Triangle,” and “Black Death.” So, it’s definitely disappointing to see him wallowing around in a church in Scotland for what seems like ages and then dump a bunch of information at the end of the third act in the hopes that it’ll make “Consecration” feel interesting. Well, it didn’t. Anyway, the film follows Grace (Jena Malone), an ophthalmologist working in West Virginia. DCI Officer Harris (Thoren Ferguson) informs her that her brother, Michael (Steffan Cennydd), has died by suicide after committing a murder. So, she arrives in Scotland to look into the matter and inadvertently becomes a guest in the church where her brother used to work as a priest. And the longer Grace stays the more hallucinations she experiences, thereby leading her to think that she is losing her mind. However, in reality, those visions and apparitions are proof that she’s starting to piece together who she really is.
Major Spoilers Ahead
What Is Grace’s Real Identity?
Throughout the movie, we get glimpses of Grace’s past as she reads through Michael’s journal, which is written in a code that only Grace can understand. At one point, we see Grace and Michael as children learning about their father’s death in a shipwreck. We see Grace praying for her father’s resurrection and a menacing entity lurking behind her. And then, we see Grace and Michael’s father keeping them and their mother in cages. When Grace tries to plot an escape, her father kills her mother, and when he tries to kill Grace, someone or something knocks him out cold. Since Grace’s father was convicted of killing his wife, he went straight to jail, while the siblings spent the rest of their lives together. They were picked up for adoption by Father Jacobs (Michael Brophy) and Sister Dianne (Charlotte Palmer) from the Mount Savior Convent. But midway, Michael was abandoned on the side of the road while Father Jacobs tried to knock Grace unconscious with chloroform. However, a freak accident apparently saved her from whatever the Father and the Sister had in mind.
We don’t learn much about Grace and Michael’s teenage or adult years, except for the fact that one went towards the path of science, and another went towards the path of religion. The reasons given are evidently supernatural in nature. So, Grace isn’t as old as she looks. She’s a witch from medieval times who was imprisoned in a tomb underneath the Scottish church where “Consecration” is set. The tomb had scripture baked into its walls, which would stop her from aging. The reason for not killing Grace and imprisoning her can seem confusing. But the working theory was that Grace was immortal because she was Lucifer Morningstar’s daughter, i.e., the fallen angel or the devil. If anyone tried to kill her, she’d just use her powers and retaliate. However, if she was imprisoned, she wouldn’t be able to harm anyone. This obviously worked because she stayed there for ages, and I think she was freed by the earthquake of 1993 and subsequently adopted by Vincent (Ian Pirie) and his wife, played by Victoria Donovan. The first one to piece all this together was Vincent after he was unnaturally resurrected by Grace and that caused him to go stir crazy.
Is Grace Capable Of Time Travel?
So, “Consecration” has a mirror shot that clearly mimics the iconic mirror shot from “Contact.” Initially, it seemed like a simple homage to the Robert Zemeckis film because Jena Malone was in the 1997 film, and they’ve got her in this 2023 film, and it might be just that. But I think that hints at the fact that there are two versions of Grace who exist in two different planes of time. One is the “guardian angel,” who has accepted that she’s the “relic,” and the other is Grace, who is on the path to learning that she’s the relic. The guardian angel and Grace are obviously in a kind of time loop (as suggested by the way the movie ends and begins) because Grace sees the things that are going to happen in the future, which are, in turn, influenced or altered by the guardian angel. The red mark on Grace and Michael’s photo, the specter in the mirror in Grace’s house, the invisible person who knocks out Vincent, the car crash, Michael’s final vision, the eerie presence, the self-inflicted deaths of the nuns who try to kill Grace, and Father Romero’s (Danny Huston) injury are all the guardian angel’s work.
Now, I am guessing that Michael’s Christian origins clashed with those of Grace’s, and he felt the guardian angel’s presence or at least understood that something “evil” was at play. And the search for that led him to Mother Superior’s (Janet Suzman’s) convent. Sadly, his research revealed the fact that Grace was the relic that Mother Superior and her minions were searching for and planning to imprison. When Mother Superior and Father Carol (Shaun Scott) learned about Michael’s relationship with Grace and thought that he could lead them to her, they started to torture him into spilling the truth. But Michael didn’t say anything and chose death by suicide after killing Carol over revealing Grace’s truth. Michael believed that God would catch him if he went through the ritual of taking a step towards the edge of a cliff for every sin that he had committed. However, that clearly didn’t work because Michael died. So does that mean God wasn’t on Michael’s side? If the guardian angel version of Grace visited Michael at the time of his death, why didn’t she save him? Well, it’s possible that neither God nor Grace wanted to influence Michael’s final decision, as that was fated to happen.
‘Consecration’ Ending Explained: Does Mother Superior Succeed In Killing Grace?
The whole time-traveling, ghost-walking sequence happens when Grace decides to jump from the cliff after realizing that she’s the relic. Harris tries to stop her, but she goes down anyway. Grace’s body isn’t found, though. So, Harris takes Mother Superior back to her convent after questioning her about the death of one of the nuns, and we learn that Father Romero has apparently survived the horrific impaling and is returning to the Vatican. Seeing how convenient all this is for Mother Superior, he asks her how she influenced Grace to kill herself. Mother Superior says Grace isn’t dead yet, and she needs to be stopped. And we see that she’s speaking the truth because Grace is alive and has moved to London. While taking a walk through the streets, she’s confronted by Mother Superior, who goes on to pull a gun on her. That’s when a cab rams into Mother Superior and apparently kills her. Whether or not that’s influenced by the guardian angel or by Grace herself—because the two versions have now merged, I suppose—isn’t entirely clear. What’s clear, though, is that Grace has gone from being an atheist to a believer and a wielder of ungodly powers for good.
I am almost certain that “Consecration” is an anti-Christian movie, but I am not sure if it is an anti-theistic movie. It shows a convent and the Vatican on a joint mission to capture a woman accused of witchcraft. We all know that the whole concept of witch-burning or imprisoning witches was conjured by religious people to oppress women who wanted to be educated or were against the patriarchal society. Yes, Grace’s manifestation of those sentiments was a little too literal, but that’s because this is a horror film. So, showing nuns and priests to be the villains of a film who go after a raging feminist and her devout stepbrother makes it very evident that Smith hates the extremist sides of the religion. That said, since Grace goes from not believing in anything supernatural to believing in everything supernatural, I think there’s an underlying message of accepting the good aspects of theism, like forgiveness and healing. If that’s not the case, it at least asks viewers not to label everything that they don’t understand as the work of the devil. And while that’s all well and good, I just wish the movie wasn’t such a bore. That would’ve allowed me to recommend it. You can still watch it and maybe enjoy it more than I did.