Sunday, October 5, 2014

Overlooked Film of the Week- The Conspiracy (2012)

Overlooked Film of the Week- #77
The Conspiracy
Personally, I have never given much stock in conspiracy theories. Much like many other theories in the world, these ideas are just that...they are theories. It is hard for me to follow anything when they are made up of hints and whispers and nothing of substance. I have always been a "believe when I see it kind of guy" and I don't see that changing anytime soon. It seems that every single time there is a major tragedy in our country, somebody comes out of the woodwork and declares that our government is to blame. Sure, I doubt the government tells us everything that we should hear, no matter if a liberal or conservative is in office, and I believe both sides have made mistakes in the past. But I just don't believe that literally EVERY piece of our history is connected to some secret society.
With all that said, I was surprised how much I was affected by "The Conspiracy" when I watched it this afternoon. "The Conspiracy" is deeply engaging and riveting. It is amazing how much suspense it is able to milk, simply because I wouldn't classify it as a horror movie. Some parts are kind of chilling, but there is no blood, no boo-scares, nothing disturbing (well I guess the idea of secret societies controlling the world is a wee-bit disturbing.), no matter. "The Conspiracy" makes good use of the mood and atmosphere it generates. Even though the movie itself is fictional, it laments itself in enough non-fiction to make a believable set-up and create an intelligent conversation afterward.
The movie revolves around Aaron (Aaron Poole) and Jim (James Gilbert), two best friends and documentary filmmakers who have taking a fondness towards conspiracy theories. They are making a documentary about a particular theorist named Terrance (Alan C. Peterson). If anybody could get anyone to buy into a conspiracy theory, it would probably be Terrance. He's been following the movement of American news and history for years, and he's come to some substantial conclusions, conclusions that now Aaron and Jim are following. While Jim finds this exercise to be in creating a thought-provoking documentary, there is secret how seriously Aaron finds Terrance's findings.
Then, all of a sudden, Terrance vanishes. For four straight weeks, Aaron and Jim cannot contact him. Aaron goes into Terrance's apartment and takes as many newspaper findings and other notes Terrance has, and he begins to put pieces together himself. Aaron's investigation leads to The Tarsus Club (a fictional knock-off of The Bohemian Club and others like it), a secret society that worships Mithras, an old god that Ancient Romans worshipped and could have led to modern Christianity (the Mithras mythology is quite the mystery itself.). Through some steady contact, Aaron and Jim sneak into a Tarsus Club ritual.
The moment Aaron and Jim infiltrate the Tarsus Club forth contains some of spine-tingling imagery. The secret society ritual is quite freaky as it plays out, and everything comes off believable. This being a mockumentary, I was deeply engaged by the drama and I liked the brisk set-up of the movie. I especially liked the camera-work in the Tarsus Club infiltration scene and the use of the small camera's added a level of freakish-ness that was hard to bare.
In these found footage style movies, the acting can make or break the movie. I very much enjoyed the work by Aaron Poole and Jim Gilbert. Together, they create a believable friendship, and we quickly identify with them. When it feels like they are in danger, it stings a little. Like I said above, the work by Alan C. Peterson is marvelous and he creates a very human theorist from the script.
I don't know if "The Conspiracy" turned me into a believer, but it certainly thrilled me. Check it out on Netflix and it may thrill you too.

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