Director: Chad Archibald
Cast: Nina Kiri, Ry Barrett, Jorja Cadence
Production Company: Black Fawn Films
Runtime: 87 minutes
Satanism and cults were once all the rage in horror films. The 1970s were overflowing with movies of this kind, probably thanks to the success of Rosemary’s Baby (1968). Though films of this type have certainly dwindled over the years, The Heretics is here to show the genre is not dead…
In the movie, Gloria (Nina Kiri) is kidnapped by a cult who sacrifice themselves, while mysteriously choosing to leave her alive. A few years later, she is abducted a second time. Will her girlfriend Joan (Jorja Cadence) be able to find her before it is too late?
Chad Archibald wrote and directed the film, and is also known for Bite (2015) and The Drownsman (2014). Archibald serves up a lot of tense moments and several surprises over the course of the movie. He seems to be really hitting his stride with this one.
Nina Kiri from The Haunted House on Kirby Road (2016) and Jorja Cadence both deliver excellent performances. Ry Barrett from The Demolisher (2015) plays an enigmatic character with a shocking objective. Colin Price from Bed of the Dead (2016) makes a brief appearance as a police officer.
The special effects makeup is a major highlight of this film. Everything from simple scars to fantastic creatures really look great and capture the imagination. I can’t say much more without going into the realm of spoilers, so I’ll allow you to discover the effects on your own.
The bizarre visions and horrific nightmares suffered by some of the characters are among the scariest moments in the movie. It becomes difficult to tell if things are real or imagined as events continue to unfold. Bad dreams and hallucinations are a mainstay of film’s like this one.
The Heretics deserves to be added to the prestigious short list of great satanic cult movies. It fits right in with films like The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971), The Devil’s Rain (1975), and To the Devil a Daughter (1976). I’d love to see a resurgence of this cinematic tradition…
The film also blends in some elements of body horror in a way I didn’t expect. The musical score by Steph Copeland really adds to the film’s intensity. I really liked the design of the masks worn by the cult members too. The Heretics is a devil of a good time…
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…