The Leech (2022) by Eric Pennycoff

Director: Eric Pennycoff
Year: 2022
Country: USA
Alternate Titles: N/A
Genre: Psycho/Thriller; Horror/Comedy

After taking in a homeless man, a priest's invitation to have him stay during the holiday season descends into chaos when the homeless man and his girlfriend move in and turn his life upside down, sending him on a downward spiral that will test his faith like never before.


Overall, this one had its moments, but it does fall flat at points. The main aspect of this one is the highly enjoyable sense of characterization that takes place here where the slow corruption that takes place becomes painfully obvious. Seeing how he starts off as the righteous and straightlaced preacher that tends to use religious anecdotes to genuinely help others and be a better person which becomes tested in the greatest tradition and sets things up nicely going forward. The comedic undertones present in the means through which they start to test his limits upon first arriving with their constant indulges in vice, tempting him through alcohol or debaucherous sex, and flat-out rejecting his pious designs on their lives that gives way to a frenetic and otherworldly second half where the extravagant visuals are utilized at their best point.

That still doesn't save the film from having a rather slow and almost unworthy build-up until that point where the film attempts to set him on this path of corruption through generally non-horrific means. With the majority of the focus here on their uncouth behavior with wanton language, alcohol use, sexual deviance, and otherwise just generally acting in as non-Christian of a manner as they can around him that causes the priest to slip into the muck with them, the horror tone is somewhat missing for the vast majority of these scenes with the attempts offering more of a comedy atmosphere. Considering how all of this comes across with very little interaction or change in tone, the potential is there for this to be a bland time without much let-up which thankfully is the only real issue with the film.

Overview: ***/5
An enjoyable enough time with a few minor detriments, this one manages to stay rather fun throughout despite these elements not keeping itself in the genre's realm for quite a large part of its running time. Those who are intrigued by the concept, don't mind the style featured, or are a fan of the creative crew will have a lot to like while those that don't appreciate those factors will want to heed caution.