Monday, April 7, 2014

Holy Ghost People (Macabre by Xlrator DVD) - Zealots Be Creepy, Yo.

We all know how these things go. The religious zealot horror pictures are painfully terrifying because they're ever so real. Every moment that you witness is fitted perfectly with elements of pure reality. Whether you believe in something that might be celebrated by religion or not, there's nothing more terrifying than the control one charismatic individual can have over a group. Nothing. Take for instance, The Mist. What's the scariest thing about The Mist? Is it the giant, inter-dimensional insect/mutant hybrids? Nope. Not the spiders. Not the mantis. It's the religious zealot in the store taking control of the minds of frightened individuals who are looking for guidance during a time of crisis. That's the same story behind Holy Ghost People when you strip it down. Sure the characters are different. No one's trapped in a super market. The inter-dimensional portal hasn't been opened. All we've got here is a guy, his church and some rather intimidating snakes.

Synopsis from Xlrator:

HOLY GHOST PEOPLE is a Southern Gothic thriller about a teenager searching for her lost sister in the Appalachian Mountains, where she encounters a snake-handling religious cult and eventually learns the truth about her sister's fate.


While I can definitely say that I enjoyed Holy Ghost People, it wasn't quite the standout movie I had hoped it would be. Sure the initial premise and first half hour were actually quite scary though admittedly this isn't entirely a horror picture. I attribute the feelings of fear  to my own apprehension about religious groups and cults of this type, however once the initial portrait has been painted the whole thing starts to feel very familiar. With a few choice shock scenes thrown in here and there the end of the movie becomes predictable and nearly formula. That is not to say that Holy Ghost People is without merit. The first third of the movie will force a few judgement calls and moral questions into being. Once Brother Billy starts to confirm his congregations devotion, I begin to see a different movie emerge. Not one based around the horror tenets of religion, but typical madman antics... torture and unsubstantiated violence. Holy Ghost People becomes ordinary, but before that it... for awhile... you'll be one scared sheep in a pretty big flock.

There are some very realistic settings and some very impressive performances that help create an image of what it might be like in certain sanctuaries. It's beautifully shot, well acted, it suffers only from a slight misdirection that sends down an ordinary path when Holy Ghost People doesn't want to be ordinary.

I recommend Holy Ghost People to fans of religious based horror. If you're a fan of Serpent and the Rainbow or The First Power, The Believers or The Mist, Holy Ghost People will have something scary to offer you if only for a short bit. Whether you've been enjoying the strange cult like feel of True Detective or read the morning news where the misguided find their salvation in their own demise, Holy Ghost People will seem familiar and feel will make you question that which is all around you.

You can order Holy Ghost People now. 

-Doc Terror

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