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Cast: Nina Kiri, Ry Barrett, Jorja Cadence, Will King, Austin Duffy, Nina Richmond, Colin Price
A notorious cult kidnaps a young girl, and sacrifice themselves by the light of the locust moon. The next morning the girl awakes, caked in dried blood and surrounded by corpses...but safe - or so she thinks. Years later, the locust moon is about to rise again and the girl is captured once more by a surviving member of the cult. She is taken to a remote cabin where she learns that a demon has been growing inside of her all these years, and before the dawn it will rise.
As the film opens, we witness a young woman tied to a table outdoors while members of a cult surround her. Before you know it, the members all slit their throats. The film then quickly shifts to present day. We meet Gloria, the young woman that survived that frightful kidnapping. Gloria now works at a shelter for woman with her girlfriend, Joan who also has a story of abuse. She was abused as a child by her father.
Gloria does not know anything about the locust moon but the last time it appeared she was kidnapped. The night before the locust moon is about to rise again, Gloria is once again kidnapped by Thomas. Thomas was at the ceremony and mass suicide five years ago but he had lost his faith so he faked his suicide. Now he has taken Gloria to a remote cabin his family use to own but he promises her he is only doing so to save her from the demon that will soon rise.
With its disturbing opening scene 'The Heretics' gets your attention right away. It then switches and it takes a little time setting up the story and introducing us to Gloria and the rest of the characters. This part of the movie can be a little slow but here it is not. I was already sucked into Gloria's life and wanted to know more about her and what happened to her.
Around 35 minutes in something happens and we get our first major twist in the film and it literary chances everything. From there the film becomes a roller coaster ride of thrills and suspense. On paper this might seems like a straightforward horror film but it is much more than that thanks to the terrific writing by Jayme Laforest and the amazing direction by Chad Archibald. Combined the two has created a horror film that gets inside your head and under your skin and it stays there long after it is over.
Another thing that made the movie so good was the cast, Nina Kiri is simply amazing as Gloria and Jorja Cadence who is also terrific as her girlfriend Joan. I must also give mention to Ry Barrett who gives a fantastic performance as Thomas. The entire cast hit it out of the park here.
Production wise the film looks and sounds amazing. There is not a ton of effects used but they all look great. Black Fawn Films are quickly turning into one of the best movie studios for Independent Horror. They seem to get better with each film. I honestly didn't know what to expect from 'The heretics,' I knew the studio's past films were all enjoyable but I did not expect them to hit it out of the park like they did here. 'The Heretics' is everything you want in a horror movie. It is incredibly suspenseful, engaging and frightening. And it has a brilliant ending that will leave you wanting more. I for one hope they revisit the story again soon. It is a well-written story that keeps you glued to the screen and on the edge of your seat the entire time.
'The Heretics' had its World Premiere in Toronto at the Canadian Film Fest in March to a huge applause. I highly recommend seeing this film as soon as you get the chance. You can visit the film's Facebook page HERE for updates.
Released by Black Fawn Films / Breakthrough Entertainment
**** 1/2 Out Of *****