In The Unholy, a young girl with a hearing impairment is miraculously visited by the Virgin Mary herself. The encounter allows the girl to not just speak and hear, but also heal the sick and suffering. But, as her popularity and fame grows, terrible events follow her, wherever she goes. Was she visited by the Virgin Mary or the devil incarnate? If you liked the suspense in this religious horror thriller, you will love the following 6 more movies like The Unholy (2021).
We just came up with movie suggestions for movies like The Seventh Day, a 2021 exorcism horror movie starring Guy Pearce. Check it out for more horror movie watching suggestions!
6 Religious Horror Thriller Movies like The Unholy (2021)
1 Saint Maud (2019)
Saint Maud is a sinister religious horror movie. It’s a psychological thriller that has the ability to keep you tense and on the edge of your seats throughout the movie, and not just during or before scary scenes. A young nurse chooses a path of Christian devotion after suffering trauma as a young girl. She’s now in charge of hospice care of a retired dancer affected by debilitating cancer. Maud’s faith and pious devotion takes an obsessive and disturbed twist as the movie builds. To what length will Maud go to seek absolution for the demons she suffered in her past?
Morfydd Clark is brilliant as Maud, the young girl who seems incapable of causing the slightest harm, let alone pure terror. Jennifer Ehle is perfect as Amanda, the embittered patient.
This movie won’t give you the jumps like The Exorcist. But, what it can do is raise the hair on the back of your neck, for many minutes at a time.
2 The Reaping (2007)
Hillary Swank leads in this religious horror thriller. A town, ironically called Haven begins to suffer from biblical plagues after the mysterious death of a young child. Katherine (Hillary Swank), a Christian Missionary turned religious debunker investigates the town’s tragedies. What will she find? Is Haven really cursed by the gods? Or, is there something far more sinister at play?
The movie builds quite slowly. But, the last 20 minutes will have you hurtling in horror. Though it is a movie we definitely recommend overall, we will say that the plot is a bit overdone in how it drifts in many different directions unnecessarily. But, as mentioned earlier, the ending more than makes up for it. Hillary Swank’s acting glues the film’s plot together. Idris Elba and David Morrissey do their bit to keep your attention while on the screen as well.
3 The Witch (2015)
The year is 1630. A devout Christian family, mother, father and their five children, live in negligibly populated lands, outcast from communities. With nothing but belief in faith, there’s meaning to their life, even in this desolate setting. But, when the youngest newborn child disappears and their crops fail, the family’s world of pious faith falls apart.
Their religious virtues are tested. Are they paying for sins committed by the other members of the family? What great evil is at play? A movie in which witchcraft, black magic and also possession takes place. There’s a lot of eerie silence in the movie. But, it is very deliberate and brilliantly supports what unfolds in the plot. There’s old English used and you must pay careful attention to dialog to enjoy the movie for everything it offers. There are no jump scares. Just a highly stimulating psychological thriller with a religious undertone.
The child actors are brilliant, not something you can say of most horror movies. Here, they in fact outshine their adult counterparts. The desolate setting of their home and the references to the mysterious history surrounding witches in the 1600’s add more intrigue and suspense to this movie.
We definitely recommend it as a movie to watch after The Unholy.
4 The Rite (2011)
In The Rite, you are treated to the brilliant acting of Sir Anthony Hopkins. He is Father Lucas Trevant, a renowned priest who has performed over 1,000 exorcisms. The plot begins with Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donaghue) traveling from America to Italy. Michael has begun to lose his Christian faith after he sees a young girl helplessly lose her life. His mentor suggests that he takes a course on exorcism to restore his faith in the power of Christianity. Michael begins to learn under Father Lucas Trevant. He’s however still very skeptical about the power of faith.
But, when events begin to take a strange and devious turn with Father Lucas, Michael not only becomes a believer, but has to resort to exorcism techniques he just learnt, to simply stay alive. Is Father Lucas Trevant the exorcism specialist he claims to be? Or, are there larger forces at play?
Anthony Hopkins is brilliant, delivering a stellar performance well into his 70’s. His calm and soft spoken demeanor just adds more intrigue and suspense to his mysterious character that will keep you guessing throughout the movie.
This is the only exorcism religious horror movie we want to include on this list. Exorcism movies have been overdone. But, this one is a breath of fresh air, if you can ever call a horror movie that.
5 Devil (2010)
The Devil is a religious horror movie in the sense that it is about the, well, devil. What we mean to say is that there are no exorcisms or mysterious events happening to religious people. Instead, a devil wreaks havoc in an skyscraper’s elevator, the last place you will think of as a setting for a devil to haunt.
5 random people are traveling in an elevator when it screeches to a halt. The lights go out and someone is ferociously bitten. Who did it? As the five terrified people slowly begin to realize that the devil is amongst them, they now have the task of identifying and fighting the devil that refuses to reveal itself.
The movie has a parallel story as well. A detective who is mourning the death of his wife and son killed in a hit-and-run accident is investigating the death of a suicide jumper who took his life from the same building. The two stories come together in a spectacular fashion, as it so often does in most of M. Night Shymalan’s writings.
A horror movie with plenty of jump scares as well as psychological tension. And, like in The Unholy, its about the devil in all its terrifying glory.
6 Case 39 (2009)
Renee Zellweger is a social service worker. She is assigned to case 39, a case where parents are potentially abusing their child. As she begins to try to save the child from her abusive home, she realizes that the little girl has a mysterious past. A movie that also stars Bradley Cooper and Ian McShane. Jodelle Ferland has done an amazing job as the adorable but mysterious little girl.
The movie has many jump scenes and some hair raising moments come at times when you least expect it, even if you are a seasoned horror movie buff who prides yourself on knowing what to expect when. There’s a general uneasiness that is brilliantly built up throughout the movie, to then be unleashed in the end. The climax is dramatic and exciting and does justice to the tautly storytelling.
This isn’t a horror movie with an overly religious theme. But, it has undertones that you will appreciate, especially if you liked The Unholy.
There you have it. 6 movies like the Unholy. Liked our list? Please give us a shoutout with a comment or social share. We will love you for it.