September 6, 2015

Netflix Review: The Conspiracy (2012)

In our never-ending search to find Found Footage flicks that are worth watching (and believe me, that search is NEVER-ending), we came across this little Found Footage beauty on Netflix. To be fair, The Conspiracy is more of a Mockumentary than it is a Found Footage flick, but it all falls under the Cinema Verite umbrella anyhow, so it's just splitting hairs to argue about it. We should just file every Found Footage/POV/First Person/Mockumentary effort under the Reality Horror banner, and call it a day.

The important thing here is that The Conspiracy is as fantastic Found Footage flick, and we're sorry that it took us so long to sit down and give it a chance. Thanks for recommending it to us, Netflix.

The Conspiracy is the story of Aaron and Jim, a pair of filmmakers, who after watching an online video of a crazy conspiracy theorist, Terrance, decide to make a Documentary about him and his crazy theories. Terrance comes off like most conspiracy theorists do: smart, well-armed with info, paranoid, and perhaps a bit "not all there." His apartment is littered with "info" and "proof" of wide-reaching conspiracies, and his walls are covered with newspaper clippings and documents, all of which he shares with the filmmaking duo.

Terrance warns them that he, and in turn, they, are being watched, and when he goes missing, it only strengthens Aaron's resolve to keep digging and carry on his work. As he and Jim delve deeper into the world of bat-shit craziness, they uncover info about The Tarsus Club; a secret society comprised of some of the world's most powerful and influential people. Aaron also uncovers that a pattern of "global shifts" (usually tragedies) tend to happen right after The Tarsus Club has their secret meetings.

Now at this point, any rational human being would be like "Well, this is about as far as we can go down this path without dying" and back off. Of course Aaron and Jim don't back off, instead wisely deciding to infiltrate one of the secret Tarsus Club meetings, which is facilitated by a shadowy man who wants to "help them." Right.

From here on out, nothing good comes of anything.

The Conspiracy is everything that "Reality Horror" can be when done right. It starts off with an interesting premise, gives us some characters that we can get behind, and then drags them slowly into the shadowy world of that premise where the "monsters" live, where it springs its trap. This movie also handles the tired tropes of Found Footage especially well, as the character's actions (and motivations) didn't feel forced or untrue.

It's also scary as hell. Engaging, intense, and legitimately scary as hell. 

This movie basically says "Hey, the shit that these supposed nut-jobs go on and on about is real, and you need to wake up before it's too late!" Of course when the main characters do wake up and try to uncover the truth behind the secret Tarsus Group, the pay dearly for it. That's what's really so great about this movie: it not only preys on the fears that many people have about secret cabals who run the world, but it also lets us know that we're basically helpless to stop them.

It also plays heavily on many people's mistrust of the Government, and the idea that as free as we are, we're really not that free at all. The Illuminati, The Freemasons, Bohemian Grove, The CIA, the Military Industrial Complex... it's not real hard to watch conspiracy videos involving these groups (and many others), and start to think that a lot of these nutty theories have some truth to them. *I'm not trying to get all conspiracy theory on you here, rather only trying to illustrate why this movie was so damned compelling. Real or not, the idea of a global NWO controlling our lives for their benefit is a truly chilling one.

There's no doubt in any rational mind that secret societies do exist in our world. Most of them may be harmless, but let's be honest and admit that the world operates at the behest of a privileged few, and that the rest of us just ride the waves that they create, doing our best to survive. Does that mean that these powerful groups are evil? No, but it sure as hell doesn't mean that some of them aren't, either. Money and power fuel the world, and yes, there absolutely are men of power who will stop at nothing to keep that status quo going, and there's not much that we can do about it.

Shut up and go along with the status quo, or die.

If that's not about as terrifying as it gets in this day and age, then I don't know what is.

As much as we enjoyed it overall, we do have to admit that The Conspiracy has its faults. At times, it's fairly predictable in its mechanics, and as compelling as it was to see real-life conspiracy footage interspersed with the fictional story elements, we could have done without the repeated footage of 9/11 that they added to the mix. As well as the movie executed on its premise though, those are fairly minor complaints.

In a world where the average Found Footage flick comes off as tired and uninspired, writer/director Christopher MacBride knocked it out of the park with this one. The Conspiracy not only feels real within the confines of its own world, but it also feels like maybe, just maybe, it's grounded in enough reality for us to need to fear such things in our own daily lives. The bottom line is that The Conspiracy is one of the best Mockumentary/Found Footage flicks that we've ever seen, and if you at all enjoy that sub-genre, then you absolutely need to see it for yourself.


The Conspiracy is available now on DVD, VOD, and is streaming for free on Netflix.

They may not have had a ton of screen time, but the Ladies of The Conspiracy are just too adorable for us not to show them a little bit of love.


  1. Not one of my favorites but didnt do any harm. About found footage, I really liked Frankenstein theory and last night i watched one of my best in the last few years , Goodnight mommy aka Ich bien,Ich bien !

    1. Frankenstein Theory was good, and we're nearly finished with our Goodnight Mommy review.