Starring Nina Kiri, Ry Barrett, Jorja Cadence
Directed by Chad Archibald
Ah, those crazy cult movies – I’ve always been a fan, mainly because the act of someone’s mind getting warped due to another’s words or actions is a pretty frightening thing to contemplate. The Manson Family, Jonestown, Branch Davidians, and Heaven’s Gate – all cults with disenfranchised and downtrodden souls looking for someone to build them up, then stand by and vow their allegiance to a figurehead spouting prophecies and promises. In Chad Archibald’s latest film, The Heretics, another kooky sect runs afoul of sanity and attempts to make a sacrifice, unknowing of the horrors that await.
Nina Kiri stars as Gloria, a woman who was kidnapped by one of these nutty bands of vow-spewing, hood-clad followers. She’s set up on a stone for a blood-ritual, and only after all the members have ginsued their jugulars in the name of their leader, does she realize that she’s been given a new lease…all be it a tormented one, but one nonetheless. Her road to “recovery” has led her to enroll in a support group for survivors of traumatic experiences, where she meets a love interest named Joan (Cadence) – their somewhat similar encounters with mental and physical torment allow them to form a bond that transcends more than physical boundaries. When all appears to be coming together for Gloria, and some of her rough edges are beginning to get smoothed out, she’s kidnapped once again by a member of the very same cult that ensnared her years earlier – can’t this chick catch a break?
It comes to pass that her captor (Barrett) was a follower that no longer wanted to follow, faked his death that night and is now trying to save Gloria from a fate she never knew existed. Here’s the problem: seems that Gloria’s had a little “something” done to her during her last go-round with the cult, and it will be the one thing that causes some hell to be raised before things get better. Even Joan’s going on the warpath in a maddened attempt to locate her squeeze – the things some people do for love. All in all, Archibald has followed up his previous gore-infused shocker, Bite with another solid offering – a decent amount of viscera mixed in with a few frightening instances makes for a well-paced film. All performances are worthy of mention, however one portrayal did come off as a bit forced at times (Joan), but there was no depreciation of the overall portrait – hey, some folks lose their shit when things get rough.
Overall, The Heretics is definitely worth the watch, especially for those looking for a bit of an ego-boost…never let a bunch of cloak-wearing whackos tell you that there’s a higher-powered plan for you, because you’ll more than likely end up on a cold-rock soaked in blood, unless that’s your thing.