October’s presentation at The Cut! was The Conspiracy. Due for release on October 14 on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK, The Conspiracy is a found footage movie about…. uh, a global conspiracy (now there’s a surprise!).
So, Aaron (Aaron Poole) and Jim (James Gilbert) are making a documentary about conspiracy theories and befriend Terrance (Alan C Peterson), a conspiracy nut they have seen ranting through a bullhorn on the streets of Washington. Initially sceptical, they discover that Terrance is intelligent and articulate and, just as they start to get really interested in Terrance’s theories about the world being run by a secret cabal responsible for everything from Kennedy’s assassination to 9/11, Terrance vanishes.
Naturally Aaron and Jim piece together the scraps of newspaper and other items salvaged from Terrance’s flat and with a bit of internet skulduggery find a mysterious whistle blower who points them towards the shadowy Tarsus Club, made up of world leaders and corporate CEOs (a bit like the Bilderberg Group). Now, the Tarsus Club just happen to be having a big meeting at a country mansion nearby. So what choice do our heroes have but to get suited up and infiltrate the club’s shindig wearing tiny cameras hidden in their tiepins? What they are about to get into involves ancient pagan ritual, masks and lots of knives. It’s a lot more scary than the average corporate fun day, (mind you, if I’d had the choice when I was a corporate wage slave, I’d have gone with Aaron and Jim to avoid the pain of a corporate fun day!)
The Conspiracy kicks off as a fairly convincing mock doc with talking heads intercut with real footage of news events (we even get some footage of Gordon Brown, Ronald Reagan and Dubya, but strangely none of Tony Blair or Barack Obama) but then becomes steadily less convincing as a found footage movie, because the quality of the camera and sound work is just too good. I have no complaint about that since I generally find found footage shaky cam really irritating and The Conspiracy’s storyline is actually pretty engaging. Alan C Peterson gives a bravura performance as Terrance, alternately ranting on street corners and obsessively pinning newspaper clippings to his apartment wall as he explains his theories. The clandestine filming of the Tarsus Club meeting at the film’s conclusion is very well executed, with some genuinely scary if slightly predictable moments. A thought provoking and intelligent thriller, that often steers close to plausibility.
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Feature by Simon Ball
Connect with Simon: @RealShipsCook or here.