Gloria (Nina Kiri) has one hell of a skeleton in her closet…namely she was kidnapped by a cult during a “locust moon” and tied up on an altar, but in a unique twist; the cultists kill themselves letting their captive live! Flash forward a few years, and G-dawg has hooked up with a fellow trauma survivor named Joan (Jorja Cadence), and is livin’ all lovey-dovey in dysfunctional paradise…that is until one of those pesky cult members, a dude named Thomas (Ry Barrett), who kidnaps her to complete the ritual began years before. will Gloria survive the ordeal…and what is growing inside her, and will Joan be able to rescue her love from the grip of the arcane?!!
The Heretics definitely has a few checks in the ol’ plus column; and first and foremost among them is the acting on hand. Kiri makes for a great lead who can go from vulnerable victim, to strong survivor, to off-kilter possessed with equal skill and aplomb, and make no mistake…this film is her showcase. Also of note are the performances of Cadence and Barrett, with the former providing a realistic base to the events at hand as she runs the gamut from lover to rage infused pursuer, and the latter presenting a tour de force of near silent physicality as the big bad of the piece…and while we are talking about these characters, this film pulls off the rare feat of having both an engaging “A” story dealing with Gloria’s plight as well as a “B” story of Joan’s pursuit…both are equally entertaining, and compliment each other perfectly. Also deserving praise are the excellent physical effects and make-up present as Gloria succumbs to whatever is buried deep within, and the strong visuals and lighting on display that add immeasurably to the film’s aesthetics.
On the downside, things start off a tad jangled and “off”, and for your’s cruelly it was hard to get into the action at first…but once The Heretics got a rockin’ and a rollin’ things gelled and this flick became one strong entry in our beloved horror biz!
Bottom line; Director Chad Archibald along with Writer Jayme Laforest have delivered the ghastly goods with The Heretics; it’s unique, avoids genre conventions, and presents a great narrative of deep emotion and truly disturbing material (and fantastic visuals and effects) in equal measure, and shouldn’t be missed by all you avowed horror hounds!
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