The Convent

Director: Mike Mendez
Screenwriters: Chanton Anderson

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


We all had that spooky place while we were in school that sprouted legend after legend of horrific events, a place where homicidal maniacs hid, demonic monsters laired, or evil witches worked their black magic. The irony is that the more terrifying the legend, the more compelled we were to go there. For some it may have been an old cemetery where an infamous murderer was buried, for others an abandoned house where a whole family just disappeared one night. In the case of Mike Mendez’s latest venture into midnight madness (his earlier film, The Killers, played at the 1997 Festival), it is a convent where, legend has it, some girl went in with a sawed-off shotgun and proceeded to blow away the whole lot of praying nuns, save for Mother Superior, whom she doused with gasoline and defiantly flicked her cigarette.

The Convent takes place forty years later and follows a group of college kids who break into the condemned building to spray-paint their Greek letters on the building before the homecoming game. Little do they know what the night has in store for them—a roller coaster of surprises. All hope seems lost until one of the toughest chicks to grace the silver screen comes along to save the day…or does she? In a frenzied assault of terror and death, Mendez manages to create a perfect midnight movie, maintaining a fevered energy that lasts throughout the entire blood-soaked film. Mixing elements of camp humor and over-the-top horror, he takes the concept of excess and blows it up in your face.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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