In this Pedro Almodóvar film, a singer at a low-end nightclub hides out at a convent after her lover dies of a bad dose of drugs, and she meets a group of off-the-wall nuns while in hiding. The nuns range from one who writes sensationalist pulp fiction under a pseudonym to another who takes drugs, and another hooked on masochism. But their private lives and perverse foibles may be in jeopardy when a new mother superior arrives to take charge of the convent. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
For those of us who are late in discovering Almodovar's films, this early film shows that even from the beginning, one can define a typical Almodovar film. I find all of his films completely irreverent, surreal and deliciously twisted, and this one has all those traits in abundance. A nun who trips acid, another that shoots up heroin, a pet tiger named Boy, and an impassioned musical performance by the heroine...where does he come up with this stuff?! I found this film humourous, almost zany, yet conveying an deep underlying message of hypocrasy in the Catholic church. I recommend this movie to anyone who likes to laugh at things that one typically shouldn't.
This is a movie which falls into the "worth seeing" category although not entirely an excellent movie. The premise of this movie focuses on the hypocrisy of an order of Catholic nuns who mortify themselves by taking on offensive names and living under the guidance of their Mother Superior who uses heroine, falls in love with and manipulates those who she is supposed to save, and attempts blackmail. The nuns of the order each have qualities about them which make them quite un-characteristically Catholic even though they all seem to have faith in their religion to enough of a degree that they stay within the order. Like other Almodovar films, "Dark Habits" is engrossing and features an interesting set of characters. However, it does not compare to his other movies such as "Talk to Her" and "All About my Mother" (the first being my top suggestion if you have not yet seen any Almodovar films).
If you love Almodovar, this one won't disappoint you. It's as sick and twisted as anything he's ever done. You'll especially love it if you're a "recovering" Catholic! It was done in 1984 and the sound, even on DVD, is pretty bad. But the story will keep you interested in spite of that.