M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Three of my decade-long Retro-Best in Horror recap Countdowns begins officially on October 1, 2012 and goes through September 30, 2013. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!

How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st, 2012 and September 30, 2013 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number—31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!

Released on August 23, 2013 and available on digital download, On Demand and BluRay/DVD here!

THE CONSPIRACY (2012)

Directed by Christopher MacBride
Written by Christopher MacBride
Starring Aaron Poole, James Gilbert, Alan C. Peterson, Bruce Clayton, Julian Richings
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here

Though I am not so far gone as to believe that every event in history is connected and I don’t have a wall filled with clippings, thumbtacks, and strings, I will admit that there are some conspiracies that might actually have something to them. Now, personally, I don’t know what is made up and what is real in THE CONSPIRACY, but if half of the connections made in this film are true, the world is a scarier place than I thought.

And that’s the beauty of THE CONSPIRACY—it’s more of a mockumentary than a true found footage film about a pair of documentarians played by Aaron Poole (THE LAST WILL & TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH) & James Gilbert (THE CORRIDOR) who choose to focus their lens on one conspiracy theorist as a means to understand why they believe what they believe, not necessarily if what they believe in is true. At least that’s the plan.

The story arc these two filmmakers take in this film fascinated me the most as the they are pulled in to a particular conspiracy theory believed by one theorist named Terrance (played by the convincingly paranoid Alan C. Peterson) to be the be all end all connection between most of the significant events in history. One of my favorite themes explored in some of the best mockumentaries is how the documentarian is often pulled into the subject matter and more times than not, this is realized way too late in the game. It’s a statement about how once a lens is directed at something, you no longer are an objective party. You have manipulated it and that there are no truly objective filmmakers out there no matter how unbiased they claim to be. Aaron (Poole) and Jim (Gilbert) start out wanting to study this loud and crazy man speaking whacko theories in the street, but it doesn’t take long before Aaron cannot deny the pull of the theories Terrance is preaching and though Jim is much more cautious (because he has much more to lose as he has a wife and child at home), he ends up feeling the pull as well.

What THE CONSPIRACY does expertly well is pull the viewer in and hold them there with an ever-tightening grip until the very end. I found myself pulled into the conspiracy of a secret organization called the Tarsus Club which seemingly spans the globe in a world-wide network of major players and while most likely a lot of this was made up to make this film work, it all seemed logistically possible the way it all played out. The film culminates as Aaron and Jim infiltrate a Tarsus club meeting in some of the most tension filled moments put to found footage film.

With a plot that is magnetic, acting that is top tier, and a story masterfully written by director Christopher MacBride, THE CONSPIRACY had me by the throat in the final half hour and didn’t let go. Unlike most films I watch and quickly forget, THE CONSPIRACY is one I will watch again and again and again because of the sheer amount of tension is conveys during the last half. THE CONSPIRACY expertly examines our yearning to uncover life’s great unknowns and how desperate we are to find the answers, no matter how dangerous they are to ourselves.




THE 2012-2013 COUNTDOWN!


#3 – THE CONSPIRACY
#4 – ANTIVIRAL
#5 – THE BATTERY
#6 – STOKER
#7 – AMERICAN MARY
#8 – EVIL DEAD 2013
#9 – RESOLUTION
#10 – SLEEP TIGHT
#11 – WE ARE WHAT WE ARE
#12 – THE CONJURING
#13 – SIGHTSEERS
#14 – WITHER
#15 – KISS OF THE DAMNED
#16 – JUG FACE
#17 – NO ONE LIVES
#18 – YOU’RE NEXT
#19 – HOME SWEET HOME
#20 – THE TAINT
#21 – THE PURGE
#22 – RITUAL/MODUS ANOMALI
#23 – V/H/S/2
#24 – MON AMI
#25 – EUROPA REPORT
#26 – BLIND ALLEY
#27 – MIDNIGHT SON
#28 – DEVIL’S PASS
#29 – COME OUT AND PLAY
#30 – THE LAST WILL & TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH
#31 – I DIDN’T COME HERE TO DIE


M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.

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