Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Conspiracy (2012)

If you're starting to doubt that there's life to be wrung out of the whole found-footage conceit, you should definitely watch The Conspiracy.  This is one of the most well-designed and original horror flicks I've seen in forever.  A pair of documentarians start delving into the world of conspiracy theorists, especially one loud and hirsute man.  His world is as baffling and illogical as you'd expect: a map of newspaper tragedies on his walls, a freaking brilliant conspiracy-theorist version of Second Life on his computer.  As you'd expect, the notion of a grand conspiracy becomes less outlandish as we proceed and learn more about the world.

But this film is so carefully constructed that even ostensibly predictable things seem fresh and interesting.  Yeah, okay, we know that the resolution probably won't be "lol, there's no conspiracy,  of course", but, by the time we get to the inevitable, we're really invested in our two lead characters and the labyrinthine world they're penetrating.  We're totally on board for the ride.

The movie makes great use of its conceit, too.  The first part of it is tightly-edited and paced well, just like a really good documentary would be.  Clean visuals, coherent narrative, the works.  It ties everything together neatly, just like a grand theory of conspiracy.  But, once things start falling apart for our leads, the film itself starts falling apart and becomes the shaky-cam standard we love in our found footage affairs.  There's a masterful build to a satisfying and delightfully uncertain finale, and I have developed a serious crush on The Conspiracy.  

It seems like we're in a time of expanding horizons for horror.  There are definitely still movies about zombies and vampers being pumped out, but we've also got stuff like Kill List and this exploring territory beyond the traditional.  It's very exciting and very welcome, especially when the final product is this accomplished.


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