Confession tells the story of Father Peter (Colm Meaney), who is locking up his church for the night when he is suddenly interrupted by an injured Victor Strong (Stephen Moyer), who holds a gun to the priest’s head and demands that he seals all the church’s exits. With no choice but to comply, Father Peter tends to his captor’s wounds, trying to appeal to his better nature in the process. It seems to do the trick, and Victor soon begins confessing his sins to the priest, but all is not as it seems.
The primary storytelling gimmick here is that the action plays out in real time, with the audience following the events of the night more or less as they would have happened. While this is an effective narrative device that serves to heighten the tension, it unfortunately has to do most of the story’s heavy lifting, as the script itself is fairly uninspiring. As a character, Victor is basically every gruff action movie protagonist, and Father Peter is a fairly standard cinematic priest who only serves to highlight how bereft of character his co-star is. While there are a few twists to try and keep things engaging, they can also only do so much to elevate such a barebones narrative.
Still, where the film’s writing falters, it’s picked up by other aspects of the production. While Victor and Father Peter won’t be winning any awards for originality, Meaney and Moyer do a great job with the roles, with strong and emotive performances that help make the character dynamics at the heart of the story more compelling. The cinematography and sound design also go a long way to add interest to the piece, making good use of the church’s visuals and acoustics to create a sense of isolation and an atmosphere of creeping dread.
Overall, Confession isn’t a bad movie, and its main narrative trick is a fun one, but that same trick also has to carry a lot of the story’s weight, and it’s let down by a fairly dull script. Still, at just under an hour and 20 minutes, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, and the rest of the production, from the acting to the camerawork, is solid enough to absolve the piece of the cardinal sin of uninspiring writing.
Confession is released digitally on demand on 31st January 2022.
Watch the trailer for Confession here: