Cast:Joel Edgerton, Belinda McClory, Michael Dorman, Sebastian Gregory
Director: Jon Hewitt
After stumbling upon a freshly buried body and learning the identity of the killer, high school student Mark (Sebastian Gregory) convinces his pal James (Joshua Payne) and James's girlfriend, Chasely (Hanna Mangan Lawrence), to blackmail the perpetrator. Believing that the killer can take out a bully who ruined their lives, Mark and James fail to realize that the rules will change once they step into the murderer's world.
Acolytes is a home grown horror/thriller from Australia. I went into this pretty blind and knowing very little about it except the fact that it was a thriller. From the opening frames of a girl running through the woods and being chased the film grabs a hold of you and from there it never lets you go till the thrilling climax. Like most thrillers that deal with serial killing this does have its violent moments but there is a lot of drama going on too as we are given details on the three friends and their past. So this is more of a thinking man's thriller so if your expecting a horror here you would be wise to look for something else to watch. Acolytes borrows from other films in story but it still brings fresh ideas of its own with it. The pacing is a little slow in spots but that is only because there is a story here to be told and the characters are given with great detail. The cast of unknowns were are excellent, Hanna Mangan Lawrence who plays James's girlfriend I felt was the highlight of the film but each and every actor here did a fine job. The story is one that takes several turns, providing twists along the way to keep you guessing and interested. Acolytes has plenty of style and it offers up a different take on the serial killer genre. Like any film it is not without flaws but over-all this is a solid thriller. My only complaint is the sound effects used, I understand the director used them to make the scenes more intense but after so much of the loud screeching noises it begins to get a bit annoying but on the other hand the camera work was amazing and really gave the needed feel for each scene. Acolytes is a well-written,Aussie Thriller that is dark and thought-provoking. This a film that challenges you to think as it slowly reveals itself and each character's past. Also I liked the ending, after so many Hollywood horrors or thrillers that all offer that happy ending we finally get a film that is brave enough to give us a more realistic ending and for that alone I give the film-makers here praise. Smart,gruesome and shocking, pick this thriller up today you will not be disappointed. Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment. **** Out Of *****