The Harrowing of Hell By Jacob van Swanenburgh. I couldn’t get the rights to the poster, but this painting was referenced in the movie. Source

This movie took a lot of effort to get through because of how unbearably pretentious it is. I had to take multiple breaks just to be able to finish it. That said, I don’t outright hate this movie. I have seen a lot worse, and there are things about this movie I did like, but it is hard to recommend. Unless you like low-budget experimental horror films, I wouldn’t bother.

Allegoria is an anthology of horror stories involving artists encountering evil. Monsters, demons, murders, and the unexplainable are wreaking havoc on the world’s most pretentious artists, and no one knows why. The stories are out of order, but surprisingly, they all connect at the end in a kind of satisfying way. The acting is solid for the most part, but the writing needs a lot of work. There are some clear moments of competence where the filmmaking, acting, and writing come together to create a great narrative, but most of the movie isn’t that.

The problem I have with anthologies is that not all the narratives are good. You get a few good stories, but you have to sit through all the bad ones. Most anthologies have a theme, like Tales From The Crypt. They might exist in the same universe but aren’t always connected aside from the theme and setting. The stories in this anthology are connected by a single event. I would argue that some of the connections between the stories are forced to make them fit the overall narrative. I appreciate the novelty of the storytelling in this movie, but I can’t get over the pretentiousness. Every narrative has a longwinded, eye-roll enduring monologue defining an art form, and there is only so much of that I could take.

I can’t recommend this movie because it is more bad than good. But if you like strange movies that are just okay, you can stream this on Shudder if you have a subscription.