Soavi is the type of director that seems to make every movie as if it was his last, taking the chance to squeeze in as many ideas, symbolism, and set pieces as possible. The result is eclectic and convoluted but also spellbinding, as in THE SECT and CEMETERY MAN, with the former being the more ominous and downbeat of the two, likely the result of everyone working to appease the boss-man, Dario Argento.
Part of the reason for the intricacy is because THE SECT is a product of three different writers, Argento, Soavi, and Gianni Romoli, all of whom seemed to have their own visions. The production of the movie started with a screenplay for an unrealized movie called CATACOMBS by Romoli, and Argento took it and added his input, which included references to The Rolling Stones (he’s a huge fan). Soavi further incorporated a script from an unrealized movie of his, THE WELL, and layered it with esotericism and Celtic symbolism, and the seemingly independent ideas from three different heads was further refined and finalized by Romoli into one hellava movie.
Nevertheless, the convoluted nature of the film has harmed it for a large fraction of viewers, making it difficult to follow and giving it an underlining annoyance that the movie may not be going anywhere. Therefore, the recommended way to view this is to just concern oneself with what is taking place at hand without worrying about where the story is leading to. It’s best to enjoy the individual segments for what they’re worth, and being that there’s a lot of gold here, they’re worth a lot.