This is the second evil cult movie I have watched in the Found Footage format over the last couple of months and I’ve enjoyed them both. Whilst The Sacrament was an enjoyable Ti West effort, Children of Sorrow seemed to be a much darker, serious effort…
Different But The Same…
The two films follow the same path of a vicious and charismatic cult leader brainwashing his followers but they end up in two very different places.
The Sacrament story was delivered to us in the Found Footage style of a bunch of reporters infiltrating a religious cult. Children of Sorrow gives us more of a Found Footage perspective from the actual cult leader.
They are both good – there’s no argument there! It’s just that they are both good for very different reasons.
Middle Scene Yawn
I thought Children of Sorrow suffered slightly due to the lack of any real direction in the second part of the film (the middle section).
It started off impressive enough as we join a car ride with creepy cult leader Simon Leach (Bill Oberst Jr.) and his assistant. They have a certain amount of banter between themselves before pulling up at some sort of desert outpost and filling the occupants full of lead!
This was a pretty shocking way to start a film and director Jourdan McCloure got it just right – it was a bit of an eye opener!
We then switch to a girl from London who is looking for answers around the death of her sister and the Found Footage becomes a mix between the two perspectives.
From here on in we see this young British lady join Leach’s cult in an attempt to find out what happened to her sister. This gives the film a chance to introduce us to various other new cult members who are joining.
Not all of them are interesting I’m afraid and this is where the middle of the film let’s itself down. It does become pretty boring and I found myself centering on the brilliant performance of Bill Oberst Jr. to keep myself interested
Due to the rather lackluster center portion of the film I knew there was going to have to be something BIG going on at the end. Things did feel like they were building to something but at the same time it felt pretty slow to.
This evil cult movie didn’t really offer me anything new in it’s middle section. We witness rather basic brainwashing techniques and a ‘chore wheel’ that includes a special job for the female members every week (a visit to Simon’s room!). But I had seen all this before – I was starting to long for something new…
What a Way to go!
Well I certainly got what I was looking for over the last half an hour of the film – unforgettable really!
Cult leader Simon Leach becomes possibly one of the creepiest characters I have ever seen in a Found Footage film and there are scenes that will definitely shock you.
I was looking for a classic horror finale and boy did I get it (can’t go into to much detail due to the spoiler alert system!).
There were definitely mixed emotions through the first hour of this film that were put to bed when the final thirty minutes kicked in. It was dark, brutal and shocking stuff!
Whilst Bill Oberst Jr. gave a memorable performance I was a little disappointed with the English girl’s character (who sounded a little to Australian for my liking!).
This female character seemed to fold pretty quickly considering her sister had met her end through this particular cult. I felt she was a little to easy to turn – a bit of an idiot really!
Jourdan McCloure has managed to make this film one hell of a lot darker than Ti West’s The Sacrament. Ti West’s attempt will probably fit better into a cinema environment whereas this effort is more for the horror connoisseur.
Children of Sorrow is a bleak and brutal evil cult movie that will probably stay with me for some time. If you decide to give it a try don’t get put off by the middle section – watch it all the way through…
The ending is worthwhile!