Two of the most critically acclaimed films to come out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival feature the power and effect of cults and cult leaders as part of their story. The first is Sound Of My Voice, a film about a couple who willingly enter a small cult in Los Angeles in order to expose it but end up discovering some surprising truths about themselves. I had the chance to see at SXSW and can confirm it’s absolutely fantastic. The second is the odd but wonderfully titled Martha Marcy May Marlene.

Writer/director Sean Durkin’s tale follows a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) who escapes a cult and the emotional and physical consequences that follow. Her sister and brother-in-law (Sarah Paulson and Hugh Dancy) take her in, but it soon becomes clear that memories of the cult’s leader (the always brilliant John Hawkes) will not be easily forgotten. Check out the trailer below and mark your calendars for the film’s October 7th theatrical release.

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