Acolytes

It turns out the French are not the only ones making waves in the horror pool. Australian director Jon Hewitt has left a significant impression on the genre with his latest feature Acolytes.

Mark (Sebastian Gregory) and James (Joshua Payne) are best friends with a bit of a love, hate relationship; James can sometimes be an asshole and Mark has a not-so-secret crush on James' girlfriend Chasely (Hanna Mangan Lawrence), the inseparable group's third musketeer. When they happen upon a buried body in the woods, they decide to blackmail the burier (Joel Edgerton) into ridding them of a childhood bully (Michael Dorman) recently released from prison. But shady deals tend to go awry.

This is a suspense thriller the likes of which has not been seen on the big screen for some time. It's chilling, unpredictable and startling. Shot on digital Viper cameras, the look is dark but smooth.

The music is a collection of cool pop rock songs. More interestingly, the soundtrack is diegetic, as each song is being played by Chasely within the context of the narrative. It would be a shame if the CD were not released along side the film.

The actors portraying the teens are actually teenagers themselves and they are fitfully frightened and emboldened as required. The murderer has that calm but frightening quality about him and the bully has a wily twinkle in his eye.

There is a mystery to be solved, but by the end of the flick almost everyone is a villain and no one can be trusted.

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