Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Joel Edgerton, Michael Dorman, Sebastian Gregory, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Joshua Payne
Director: Jon Hewitt
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
A tension soaked stalk and chase thriller. In their senior year of high school, James and Mark find a way to stop being the victim, they?re going to kill their nemesis? That is when they stumble upon the serial killer who ... more »
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Teens Who Won't Bore You To Death
S. P. Miskowski | West Coast, US | 10/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Acolytes is a 2008 Australian film with a premise both simple and unusual: Three teenage friends stumble across a burial spot in the woods, identify a serial killer, and decide to blackmail him into committing a crime on their behalf. This is not a plan born out of restless boredom. The crime, it seems, is a form of rude justice for an act of violence that occurred several years earlier.
Present day scenes feature the friends' daily wanderings across a hideously boring suburban neighborhood. We never see concerned adults--other than law enforcement officers--taking an interest in anything they do. Loving parents will find this appalling, but honest ones will admit that a lot of teens live this way. Unsupervised and disconnected from parents who are busy working or just not that interested, the young people in this story create meaning and relationships from scratch. What they come up with is sometimes touching and sad, but it is also dangerous and potentially self-destructive.
The story deepens with a series of flashbacks. Every creepy revelation and each new act of brutality builds naturally and inexorably upon the last, until the horrific ending seems both surprising and inevitable. Only one moment, late in the film--when two of the teens rush to aid the third at their usual meeting place--seems unlikely. There is a missing bridge here, a scene of reconciliation between the two boys, which would justify the action.
Director Jon Hewitt has coaxed believable performances from his cast. And he's framed them--both teens and adults--with a soulless backdrop that makes the word "community" seem ridiculous. Both the natural world and suburban limbo are revealed as places that hold frightening mysteries, down winding roads and behind closed doors."
Brilliant thriller, but sub-par with horror elements
C. Christopher Blackshere | I am the devil's reject | 05/15/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Acolytes has a pretty simple but intriguing premise--three teens attempt a game they're not prepared to play. The game is blackmail, and the target is a cold-blooded killer. They quickly learn they're in way over their heads.
Mark is a teenager who spots a mysterious man burying something out in the woods. Probably just a dead pet, but he and his friends contemplate other possibilities--a stash of money, perhaps? They decide to go dig it up, and are flabbergasted by whay they uncover--a dead woman. When they try to report the crime over the phone, the police demand some identification. Scared, they hang up the phone instead and consider other options.
Amazing what teenagers will do when they're bored. First, they decide to track the killer down. Not trying to be heroes or anything, they do this simply out of some sick curiousity or morbid fascination. Since they know the vehicle he drives and the vicinity of where he lives, it doesn't take long.
Eventually they make another foolish decision--blackmail this psychopath. The tables soon get turned and the results could be deadly.
Really the main thing these kids needed were some adult guidance. Parents who care about them and could supervise them somewhat. No presence whatsoever of an adult who is ready to listen, and this proves to be costly.
This film does a tremendous job at developing characters and building tension. Surprisingly stellar performances from the young cast as well. There are elements of teen sexuality mixed in with the action and danger. Plus evidence of an abused childhood begin to manifest. This has a very well written screenplay.
But unfortunately this film culminates in a gruesome, horrific finale that seemed a little uneven and forced. That is the only major drawback to this film, otherwise I thought it was damn near perfect.
I was more impressed with this then the other reviewers.
gespect | ohio | 11/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i gave this a five star rating but maybe it was a four and a half.
i felt that this was a very real movie. i could see much, if not all, of this having taken place. okay, for the ease of making a movie some things were simplified [like the ease of the illegal entry into a domicile. i at no point felt that this promoted nor accepted child molestation like one of the other reviewers. i will need to watch this once more to make sure that all of the lose ends were tied up. I'm very confident that there are no slip ups. there are a number of unexpected twists that made sense because of human nature's willingness to leave important details. so when a character doesn't tell others everything it's to keep up his, or her, own public perception. nobody likes to have their past embarassements waved around.
basic story: some kids received terrible torment from a guy when they were young.
now days a girl goes missing. we don't know exactly what happened but we see some clips and are left to assume.
one of the three main characters. mark, sees a guy bury something. he, also, sees the guys vehicle.
the others come back, with mark, to see what was buried. they find a body.
they deduce that the killer must be local.
while looking for the grave diggers vehicle they see their old tormenter.
the old tormentor comes after them.
mark doesn't like that one of his two friends called up the grave digger and set into motion a simple idea.
"hey, grave digger... if you don't kill our tormentor we'll turn you into the cops."
from here we see that simple plans often don't go right and can develop terrible side effects. also, there seems to be a little research that was used to come up with: what creates the sick-o's that we see as sociopaths... or damages to the young which will later create a psychopath.
i felt that there was high quality in the acting, filming, direction, and script. much of the scenery was beautiful, filmed in queensland Australia.
as i mentioned earlier there were many unexpected points that created twists. these were not gimmicks but based on human nature. after viewing the film/dvd again I'm sure i'll find the film seamless with no lose ends.
after re-watching the film/dvd. there were no losse ends. this is a rare gem and proof that a film can be great with little to no money for the budget."