NyMpha is the story of Sarah (Tiffany Shepis), a young English girl, who goes to Italy to take vows needed to become a cloister nun of the "New Order" Convent. The rules of the convent are very strict, so strict that they are often considered a form of torture. Sarah's path is divided into four steps, "hear" the Lord, "see" the Lord, "touch" the Lord and "talk" with the Lord… Each step will be painful for both Sarah's physical and mental self. Moreover, during Sarah's journey, she often has visions of the Convents past, visions that it was the house of a young girl named Ninfa... Ninfa's life was ruined by the religious fanaticism of her violent grandfather Geremia, who believes that he can talk directly with God. In reality, he is utterly mad, and this madness seems to be present today (within the walls of the convent) where young Sarah lives…
This is a film I have been looking forward to since the first day I heard about it. As usual for any film that stars Tiffany Shepis this film will get a free Severed Head in the ratings. This time Tiffany stars as Sarah a young american woman who travels to Italy to become a nun in a new order covenant. Unfortunatly for her she must endure many forms of torture to become a part of this elite religious group. This is quite a stretch from what weve become accustomed to Tiffany Shepis starring in.....And I must say she really shows off her acting chops in this film which should open the floodgates for starring roles for her in more serious horror films.
She does do nudity in this film (full nudity) but this isnt the normal erotic type of nudity weve all come to love from the best ass in the buisness! The nudity in this film instead feels very intrusive, I dont mean this in a bad way, what I mean is in the context of how it's used you really feel kind of like it's an injustice akin to rape for her character....It's an uncomfortable moment. This is in no small part because of her masterful performance of this character (which as I said is quite the departure from her usual crazy party girl type of roles). I can honestly say in the next 2-3 years were sure to see Tiffany Shepis as a major player in the Hollywood circle of A-list actresses. Lets just hope she never stops doing horror flicks.
As far as the film is concerned I was equally impressed with it as it really feels like one of those classic Italian films from the 80's that we all hold near and dear to our hearts. I can only hope this reigns in the resurgence of the Italian horror film as it's been way too long since we had a truly great one....and this certainly qualifys as such.
The cinematography is beautiful and the locations look amazing as Italy has so many beautiful old buildings and locations that you know right away that it was filmed there. Theres no faking that look. The director has a firm grasp of what he wants and how to frame it on screen......the transfer is gorgeous and quite breathtaking. He also manages to leave very little filler scenes as every frame has something to do with pushing the plot forward.
The subject matter is quite bold as well. Dealing with religion is always a touchy subject and it's nice to see a director not handle it with kid gloves and actually make a statement within his film. I must warn squemish or closed minded fans that this is something you should probably skip. However if you want to see a well crafted and actually pretty creepy horror film, A fan of the old 80's Italian films or a fan of Tiffany Shepis (this is the best performance Ive ever seen from her much less any other actress in a horror film in recent memory) Than this is a film you can't afford to miss!
I can't leave a review without touching on the effects as they play such a big part in horror films these days. The effects in Nympha are quite a thing for an older gorehound to behold.......There's no CGI (Thank God) and its all practical effects done in a way only the Italians can do it. The effects are very simple but extremely brutal and violent.....This is a case where the performances of the actress as well as the Directors use of lighting and framing, The effects guys knowledge, and extremly effective editing all come into play to turn basic effects (yet very gory) into something truley horrific!
I can only hope this film sees distribution in the US and soon......With the Asian invasion of horror films coming to a quiet death in the US it's time for a film like this to come out and not only reinvigorate the Italian Horror film but also make a few of the younger horror fans out there to go out and search down some of the older classic Italian gutmunchers. This film is a shocking look into the secret society and horrors of religion and is a film anyone who calls themselves a horror fan should be required to view. You wont be sorry as this film will shock,horrify, and assault your senses till the end credits begin to roll. I can't stress enough just how good this film is nor Tiffany's performance except to give it the full 5 severed heads plus the extra "Shepis Credit" severed head, and the official Gorehounds Unite! seal of approval!
My pick for #1 horror film of 2007...........
Visit the filmmakers at their myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/nympha_the_movie
And go give a shout out to Tiffany at her official website : www.tiffany-shepis.com
6 Out Of 5 Severed Heads and a Gorehounds Unite Seal of Approval!