James Gilbert

The Conspiracy

Conspiracy theories are a phenomenon capable of both intriguing and entertaining an audience regardless of actual belief. The key is in the ‘what if?’ scenario that the best ones present. Of course we don’t believe them, but what if? That tenuous line between fact and fiction nags at our imagination and pulls at the loose strands of doubt in our otherwise level-headed minds. It’s fertile ground for film and TV with some of the finer examples including The X-Files and Oliver Stone’s JFK, and now one filmmaker has come up with the idea to mix conspiracy theories with the faux documentary genre. Unfortunately that marks both the beginning and the end of the creativity Christopher MacBride applied to The Conspiracy. Jim (James Gilbert) and Aaron (Aaron Poole) set out to make a documentary about a man named Terrance (Alan C. Peterson) who spends his days shouting theories on a street corner and his nights discussing them in an online chat-room with other believers. Terrance disappears one day leaving no trace as to his whereabouts, and as the two men struggle with what to do with their doc Aaron (very quickly) finds himself picking up the pieces of Terrance’s obsession. He connects the dots between news clippings and historical events and discovers, wait for it… a motherfucking conspiracy.

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Editor’s Note: This review previously ran as part of our Fantastic Fest coverage but with The Corridor hitting limited theaters this weekend, it makes sense to publish it once again. A sharp twist to the concept of getting together for a boys’ weekend (and the ultimate bizarre response to the influx of Dude Bro movies), The Corridor opts for rounded, deeply complicated characters who have the kind of shared history that is as likely to cause an outbreak of hugs as it is a burst of heated words and violent threats. The whole messy pile then gets an eyebrow-raising element right out of The Outer Limits dropped on top, and it’s off to the races. The film opens with a frantic confrontation where Tyler (Stephen Chambers) hides in a closet while his mother (Mary-Colin Chisholm) lies dead on the ground ostensibly by her own handful of pills. A brick wall named Bobcat (Matthew Amyotte), pretty boy named Lee (Nigel Bennett), and Brad Cooper look-a-like named Everett (James Gilbert) bust into the house only to be confronted by a maniacal Tyler who takes a swipe at Everett’s face and stabs Lee in the hand. Months later, they find themselves at a funeral/reunion at Tyler’s mom’s house in the woods with another childhood friend (Glen Matthews) in tow, trying to reconcile their relationship and deal with a supernatural force that threatens their existence.

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published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C
published: 04.18.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
A

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