Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his house and find collection of VHS tapes. Viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be dark motives behind the student's disappearance.
Two best friends see their trip of a lifetime take a dark turn when one of them is struck by a mysterious affliction. Now, in a foreign land, they race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely.
The journalist Patrick works at the VICE, a company dedicated to cover bizarre news. When his sister Caroline joins a community, she travels abroad with her new family. Out of the blue, Caroline invites her brother to visit her in an undefined country and Patrick travels by helicopter with his friends Jake and Sam that work with him at VICE. They find weird that the men that have come to guide them to the Eden Parish have guns. On the arrival to the camp, Patrick, Sam and Jake find a community of happy people that worship Father. They interview Father but soon they realize that people are not as happy as they seem to be. Further, they find that they are trapped in the Parish Eden and they want to leave the place with the newcomers. But the Father does not have intention to let them go.
Starts promising, completely falls apart in second half
What starts out as a promising look into a religious cult, quickly turns into a jumbled mess of incoherent storytelling, baffling motivations, and annoying camera work.
The problem is none of the characters are well rounded or defined beyond the absolute basics (and they do incredibly stupid things throughout the film, especially in the second half). So when things start going bad, it's hard to care. The film seems to want to offer a deep, nuanced look into the world of cults, but West doesn't seem to be able to paint anyone with more than a primary colored brush. Everyone is a caricature ...especially "Father", who is little more than a mouthpiece for religious mumbo jumbo.
The decision to make this found footage becomes the film's biggest flaw, as the extremely limited use of the camera gives every scene a flat incomplete feeling, totally stripping the film of any gravitas or meaning. Found footage has become a lazy, tired cliché in the horror genre and West is no where near talented enough to make it work. West is quickly becoming a hackneyed presence in the world of horror, and it's a mystery why people make such a big deal of him.
And I am wondering where the hell the $4 Million budget went, since the cinematography is bare bones, we're only ever in a single location, and there are no explosions or huge actions scenes. I mean you could've made this for less than a million dollars and it would've been exactly the same movie.
All in all a disappointing film.
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