With the fact that it was found footage being set aside, I thought the overall story and idea behind the film and plot were great. David, what did you think about The Faith Community?
David: Overall, I agree with your interpretation of the The Faith Community. It’s definitely a found footage film - and I think it took the concept even farther. Very few of the found footage films I’ve seen will adapt the idea of the camera being out of focus or the camera not pointing directly at people. Occasionally you see that, but it tends to fix itself after a while. This film does not take that interpretation, and conversely, at times that makes it a bit more realistic. This falls apart a bit at times when you wonder why the camera is actually still running, when the safe thing would be to turn it off.
I like the idea presented in this. For instance, the idea of religious fanatics in horror is something that has been around for quite some time. For instance, look at the mother in Carrie, or the setting in The VVitch, The Village, or The Wicker Man (not sure how I somehow chose all end of the alphabet, but there I go). I didn’t necessarily like the tack that the film took throughout the film. It makes the film seem really hostile towards the religious, and essentially makes them look crazy.
Don’t misunderstand me - I’m all for presenting how religion can go wrong, and I think that’s the ultimate point of this film, but I think a lot of the movie gets wrapped up in how crazy religious people can look from a non-religious perspective.
The acting throughout the film is ok, but at times it gets really over-the-top, which loses the realism that the filmmakers are trying to go for, but Jeremy Harris definitely stands out as The Messenger, who is the self proclaimed leader of the group in the film. He’s a solid actor, full of theatrics, including a song number where he showcases some pretty good voice talents. Honestly, I was pretty lukewarm on the rest of the performances throughout the film.
What about you Shannon?
Shannon: I would have to agree with you about the acting. The Messenger was by far the best role in the film and Jeremy played it perfectly. As for the others, they did their job, but I don’t think it was anything phenomenal. I also agree with you about how at times the acting was just over-the-top, in particular Hannah (played by Janessa Floyd). She was the character that was overcome dramatically by whatever is going on in the sect.
Her role and what happened to her really sets the tone for, as you mentioned, the over dramatic stereotype of religious people. It was even more dramatic than The War Room, which if you’re a DFP avid reader, you may remember our reviews from awhile ago. And though it was definitely dramatic, I think it added to the creepiness of the sect and really raised questions as to who they were truly following.
David: I also had some comments about the sect itself. It feels a bit underdeveloped, which was probably done in order to help keep a twist (if you consider it that) kept until the end. The sect just feels underdeveloped as a whole, with large gaps in their motivation, as well as how they function. Though they state that they have been there for years, they all look well fed, well clothed, etc. They even have elaborate costumes for their theatrical “production”. It just took me a bit out of the film overall.
In the end, there was a lot that I didn’t enjoy about the film. But it also holds as a halfway decent interpretation of a found footage religious sect film. So I’m giving it a “D+”.
Shannon: I can understand what you mean about the sect itself being underdeveloped in the story line. It seems that all the people already members all have different personalities and feelings towards what they are doing in the woods. Some are scared while others are devoted. That is one thing that just didn’t make sense to me in the end with Hannah. No one else acted like that, so I’m not sure what exactly changed during their time in the woods.
Too many questions with little answers. Though I liked the concept, I wasn’t a fan of the film work and the found footage aspect of it. I’m going to go ahead and say “okay” for my rating. I would have like a more developed story of the sect and some answers in the end. (2/5).
David and Shannon write about movies.