May 28, 2009

Review: Acolytes (2009)

It doesn't hit DVD until July, but I just cant wait anymore to post our review of this little Aussie gem...
Cast Members of Note- The hotness of Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Michael Dorman, Sebastian Gregory, and Joshua Payne. Directed by Jon Hewitt.

Mark and James are best mates, and Chasely is the sassy young harlot who comes between them with her schoolgirl uniform and blossoming sexuality. You see, Chasely and Mark are an item, but like, James likes her and stuff, but she doesn't know what to do because she thinks she likes James or whatever, but she doesn't like know for like sure... OMG! (This concludes our good-natured poke at Teenage culture.)

Sexy McSassbox.
One day, while they're all making out together in the woods, James wanders off (presumably to rub one out) and stumbles upon Somebody's Dad burying something and then running off. Soon enough, they find out that Somebody's Dad is actually a serial killer, and that they've stumbled onto his hunting/burial grounds. At least Somebody's Dad didn't catch them snooping around, or they may have just ended up grounded... to death! (Stop rolling your eyes, that's the best that I've got!)

You can't tell me that that's not Somebody's Dad.
I really don't want to explain away too much more of the plot other than to say that instead of calling the Cops and reporting their grisly discovery, they decide to track the killer down and do their best to blackmail him. I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that things pretty much go to hell from there on out.

From Left: Christian Bale's little brother, Titus; my future wife; and the 4th Jonas Brother, Chad.
I've been waiting for what seems like forever to see this movie, and I wasn't disappointed at all with the finished product. This is a taut, tense thriller, that may walk the road of "Now why would they do that instead of...?" territory, but makes up for it with high marks in every other category. Visually, this movie is stunning. The characters, though frustratingly dumb at times (because sometimes kids can be that way), are believable and sympathetic.

The script is great. The casting, cinematography, and direction work on all levels. I also like that there were several twists and turns in the plot which never seemed like the "twists" that so many Horror flicks get caught up in trying to amaze us with these days; instead, they were actually important plot developments, and were handled perfectly.

Thank you Jon Hewitt (who, by the way, is Mick from Wolf Creek) for not treating Horror fans like we're idiots... it's quite a refreshing feeling for a change. Some have said that the beginning half of this movie dragged a little, but I beg to differ; the first half of the movie seemed to me a meditation of sorts on Teenagers, in which sexual angst and troubled pasts are set up to play an important role in what comes later. Good stuff.

A Michael Jackson impersonation? Now?
Again, stupid kids making painfully stupid decisions that all but decides their fates. Are all Teenagers truly this frigging dumb? I mean, I did plenty of stupid shit in my youth, but never anything close to blackmailing a serial killer or trashing my Mom's car on purpose. Or antagonizing a recently paroled bully that once raped me. Just call the damned Cops!

The love scene.
The whole rape subplot was really creepy. I know it's rape, so of course it's a disturbing topic, but the dirty flashback scenes really skeeved me out.

What? We said it skeeved us out!
There are definitely some scenes filled with uncomfortable violence to be found here; the film doesn't go overboard with the gore, but it's surely effective when it strikes. I guess it's really more disturbing that graphic for the most part.

This movie is filled with Teen sexuality and erotic angst, but no nudity, save a mom bathing with her baby.

Why do you keep looking at us like that?!?
 "Do you know what an acolyte is, Petra? It's a beginner."

Teenagers shouldn't ever leave the house; it's just too dangerous for them out there. Also, never antagonize a sociopath.

This is a fantastic film, in both presentation and concept. It's not a perfect movie, but it's a damn good one that delivers the goods and treats its audience with some respect for a change. Buy this one when it hits DVD sometime in July, and feel secure in the fact that your Horror collection just got that much better.


Acolytes is available now on DVD.

For the record, Hanna Mangan Lawrence is a sexpot. You heard it here first.


  1. That buried body thing (with the head poking out) looks brilliant!

    - Zac

  2. I finally saw the whole thing tonight. I felt it had a great, strong first half, but kinda fell flat afterward.

    Hannah, on the other hand, is a little hottie (no matter what age you are), and I'm quite looking forward to seeing her other works now.

  3. I missed this one!! I'll have to check it out!!

  4. This is the kind of thing I try to teach people. Can I count on a sequel?

  5. I don't see a sequel happening, but you never know.

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