Set in Northern Italy, American school teacher Elizabeth Magrino (Laura Schaefer) is visiting the monastery of San Pietro to brush up on her bible studies. Whilst there, one of the monks excavating the remains of the catacombs underneath the abbey stumbles across an ancient tomb.
After removing the seal from the tomb (never a wise idea in a horror film) the monastery is rocked by the mysterious disappearance and death of several of the monks. The extremely pious Brother Marinus (Jeremy West) immediately blames these events on Elizabeth's arrival, believing god is punishing them for allowing a woman into their order.
Befriended by a fellow American, a priest named Father Durham (Timothy Van Patten) who's staying at the monastery to try and find his 'calling' in life, they begin to investigate the old legends surrounding the catacombs and discover the tomb is said to contain an ancient demon, that was supposedly sealed up inside by the Inquisition during the mid-1500's. A story Brother Marinus insists to be true.
Of course the Father Superior, Brother Orsinni (Ian Abercrombie), thinks these old tales are nonsense. However, as more people disappear and demonic manifestations begin to emerge in the catacombs below, could Father Marinus actually be right?
Directed by David Schmoeller, Catacombs is one of the many horror films to have come out of the Charles Band stable, the guy that gave us "Puppet Master", "Demonic Toys" and numerous other films. As with Band's other output, this is a respectable medium-budget horror pic, though my main criticism would be that after the introductory pre-credits scene with exorcism and imprisonment of the films demon, the rest of the movie takes too long to get going and so some may find this a bit on the slow side.