Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: The Faith Community

Review: The Faith Community
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and scares everyone! For my review this time I’m going once again into the intriguing sub-genre of found footage films with the first film from filmmaker Faith R Johnson, The Faith Community.

The Faith Community tells the tale of three young documentary filmmakers who go to a supposed religious get away to film a promotional video. When they get to the location they are greeted by The Messenger (played by Jeremey Harris) and his “flock.” Soon the three filmmakers find that things are not as they expected. For one thing on their way to the “getaway” they are lead past a number of wooden crosses set to the side of the trail. Then when they get to the getaway instead of finding cabins and facilities they are met with a bunch of tents and folding chairs. When they question this The Messenger simply tells them that they are living simple to get closer to God by getting closer to nature. After that things get disturbing. The camera person, Colin (played by Jeffrey Brabant), interviews The Messenger, but is unable to get his name, the leader insists that The Messenger is his only name. Then Colin interviews one of the members named Michael who turns out to be a former soldier who was thrown out of the army for killing an officer because he was having delusions of seeing a dark, demonic, shape. Then after having a meal with the group Colin finds his associates acting odd. Are they drugged? Of course it is after the after meal entertainment that things unfold and becomes deadly. Their hosts are not a simple religious group, but a twisted cult whose focus is to find those who are worthy. Will Colin and his friends escape this cult or will they become its latest victims.

Though I’m not a huge fan of found footage films, there are some that break the mold of the simple cookie cutter plots and stereotypical faults of this sub-genre. I find this to be one. For one thing there wasn’t the typical introduction expressing that this is actual footage found hidden in the woods. Nope, Johnson forgets those trappings and lets the footage speak for itself. Also, she adds to the fake realism by not even having the camera operator keep the camera level. There are several shots that are of people’s feet and several shot where the camera is trying to auto adjust and all we see is flared and barely intelligible images. Also, there is no attempt at making this film over dramatic or Hollywoodish. This film is as rough as it gets and does look like someone with little camera skills was shooting true events. The unfortunate drawback to this is the film loses a lot of its impact by being too far away from the main action, much like a person at a concert trying to film the action with their camera phone.

So, in the end I found The Faith Community a disturbing look at the very real horror of the extreme religious cults that have popped up in the world. This film is a cautionary tale that warns you to look closer into any religious retreats, because they might not be what you expect….

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