Director: Christopher MacBride.
Starring. Aaron Poole, James Gilbert Canada. 1h 24m.
Usually found footage movies are cheap and easy to make, often addressing unusual subjects and laced with fears and shocks. Conspiracy has all of these elements along with a convincing storyline with an unusual compelling ending
The film starts with Aaron and James mocking a guy on YouTube who spends his days trapsing around with a box, a loud speaker and a board of information, and spends his days proclaiming various conspiracy theories, while James is happily laughing at him, Aaron is intrigued by the amount of people in the comments agreeing with him (along with the usual YouTube troll patrols). It’s clear that Aaron and James are both playing “themselves” and that Aaron is the (Mulder) believer while James (Skully) is totally sceptical about all of this but he tags along for this documentary.
It’s not hard to track down Terrance G he’s a YouTube trendsetter and the duo interview and start making a documentary about him and his ideas, but early on in it’s development Terrance G, points out that people are following him and soon vanishes without a trace, Aaron’s apartment is broken into and he too starts to notice people following the budding film makers around, especially a large black car and a “guy on a bike” this stirs something in Aaron who returns to Terrance G;s apartment and collects his data ( a mass of post it notes and “evidence” taped to a board with those cute lil stings to identify connections) and begins to piece things together for himself.
It seems that Terrance G had connected a host of events, like 9/11 and to the Tarsus Club a non-governmental organization founded on an ancient secret society. Eventually he comes into contact with a man claiming to be Mark Tucker, a person who wrote an article about the Tarsus Club, a long haired arthritic author who illuminates the groups New World Order manifesto and details that they worship Mithras.
It’s worth pointing out that by this stage in the movie it’s pretty straight forwards, there’s the odd event which might spark some questioning but anyone buying into this has to be a hardcore believer. The filming is pretty standard, they aren’t running around the forest making the audience dizzy with shaky-cam just yet. The interviews look pretty authentic. For the most part the film is just what you’d expect from the title, there’s some decent drama involved and Aaron does hold his own as a the better actor, but with room to grow.
The biggest problem with the film is that it’s incredibly flat, there are some clearly shocking and stand out moments which are not really built up in anyway. But the final act takes on a whole new different feel, as Mark offers to sneak the film makers into a meeting with the “group”. After getting dressed up in expensive suits and hiding out in the woods waiting to be picked up, they find themselves going through an initiation ritual but soon they realise they have made a terrible mistake. This is where the shaky-cam running through the forest aspect takes over the movie and it gets exceedingly sinister.
It’s a good shot at a popular but highly opinionated area, I think the danger and action could have been amped up a little but it is a solid and believable film .. ish. The magic of found footage movies kinda goes out the window when “known” actors are used, if this was a group of no bodies I’d be in the front row with my “believer” cap.
R – Conspiracy Theory (1997), Operation Avalanche (2016), JFK (1991), New World Order (2009)
L – A-Z of Found Footage Movies
A – Found Footage Saints and Sinners
5s – Aaron Poole