The Atticus Institute – Documented Demonic Possession


Documented Demonic Possession

It looks like the Found Footage industry has started 2015 with a bang through an impressively original offering.

The Atticus Institute is a 70’s styled mockumentary based on documented demonic possession by the US government.

Slick and original – even the ‘haters’ of this genre will find something appealing in this impressive horror…

It’s All About The Actors

Most Found Footage efforts tend to employ newcomers to the silver screen over more established actors. I agreed with this principal as it always seems to make the movie a little more believable.

I can’t imagine watching a film from this genre which involves a Hollywood great as it would instantly lose it’s credibility – it wouldn’t seem realistic at all!

But The Atticus Institute takes a step away from this rule of thumb and somehow manages to make it work. I’m not saying they used ‘A – list’ actors here but they did use a handful of actors I had come across before.

It was a good move – the film worked flawlessly due to the experience and the overall quality of the actors.

There were no cringe-worthy, over-acted moments and everyone seemed to fit their role perfectly. The actors helped make this film an extremely memorable Found Footage experience.

The Plot

The film is base during the 1970’s when an institute run by Dr. Henry West has been given a small budget to research cases of psi-related phenomena.

Dr. West is an extremely dedicated psychology expert who is hell-bent on finally finding someone who displays supernatural powers.

After publishing numerous journal articles highlighting the promising results of their work, Dr. West’s group finally stumble across an individual who seems to be the ‘real deal’.

A lady named Judith Winstead is brought to the institute by her sister after displaying rather worrying personality characteristics.

She is put through a barrage of initial tests and her supernatural abilities prove to absolutely astonishing.

The initial excitement of their discovery does not last long as the researchers realize that Judith’s powers are not really her own.

Before long the U.S. Department of Defense is called into the institute as a precaution…but they have their own plans for this powerful and unique lady…


The film is a split between the Found Footage and Mockumentary formats and works extremely well.

We constantly jump forward in time to interviews with the survivors of the incident and then back and forth to the cameras inside the labs.

The cinematography is extremely well done as the director ( Chris Sparling ) sticks to 1970’s camera quality throughout the ‘footage’ sections.

He managed to create an atmosphere that was totally believable from start to finish and that’s what makes the film shine so brightly.


An extremely well thought and and well written Found Footage effort – definitely a cut above the rest!

Rya Kihlstedt plays the role of Judith and she nails it down perfectly – she’s come a long way since Home Alone 3 and Deep Impact.

I was also impressed by William Mapother’s portrayal of Dr. West, apparently he’s the Younger cousin of Tom Cruise and Lee Anne De Vette. I recently saw him take a lead role in Another Earth and I thought he was equally impressive in that to.

The film took the idea of documented demonic possession and threw a load of unique ideas in there – it was gripping and unrelenting viewing.

Great film with all the right ingredients to become a cult classic in the Found Footage genre – definitely one to put on your watch list!




    • Yeah I gotta agree with you John – thoroughly enjoyed this one from start to finish πŸ™‚

  1. i would like to know exactly where the atticus institute is located in pennsylvania

    • Hi Rick,
      I’ll be honest with you here – I have no idea if it is a real place or not. I haven’t done any sort of research into whether it ( the film ) is based on a real facility or not. If you find out any more information on it pop back here and let us know πŸ™‚

  2. just right now, I am watching this movie. kinda erie, but real real good.

    • Hi Mary,
      That’s a pretty good movie – had me gripped from start to finish. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did πŸ™‚

  3. I don’t know if this movie is from a true story. However, it hit on some real happenings in this world we live in..For they’re are things that can’t be ruled out, or controlled. God in Heaven, help us if this is a true documentary. Cause if it is, stop playing with things that you don’t know of! If it’s not of God, then it’s of the other!! Stay prayed up!!

  4. i just watched this film.. i like it alot
    and it does seem like this could have happened .. the government never really tells us anything. i study witchcraft and spirits plus nature.. the true is.. this very well may be based on a true story. the only way to find out the true is to go to the deep web.

    • Hi Natalie,

      I have heard numerous rumors connecting this film to actual events but I can’t be sure overall – as you say, there’s only one way to find out…

  5. One of my very favourite FF movies. Very convincing despite – and also strangely because of! – the experienced/familiar actors. Really professionally put together, and it’s great when we get FF movies where we can actually see and hear what’s going on (my pet peeve with a lot of them). Great job.

  6. So glad to have stumbled on ths page. your reviews are spot on and through this I’ve discovered lots of new FF films

  7. I’ve always hated this genre, from Blair Witch to the countless imitators of today. They make me dizzy watching and, as someone previously touched upon, the overacting is often cringe worthy with few exceptions. “Atticus Institute” was different for me due to the filmed documented action and the interviews, which felt like watching Dateline or 60 Minutes. If only they were all this good and, yes, I had to take the time to look up evidence of this being based on actual events, which brought me here. Nice to see others found this one to be a gem as well.

    Cheers all!

    • Great to hear that you found a film in this genre that you enjoyed Craig! Thanks for taking the time to leave your opinion!

  8. Ok I’ve read all the comments but no one said if it’s real or not!!! So is it real????

  9. Hi guys,
    I think the movie is based on this actual story. Especially the dream part.

    • That’s a really interesting read Joyce – thanks for sharing that! πŸ™‚

      (Guys if you want to follow the link you’ll have to copy and paste the address above into the google search bar – our site security is updated and won’t allow URL’s in the comment section any longer…which is a bit of a pain in the ass really!)

  10. Top stuff! I’ve seen movies… but this is just amaaaaaaazing going to thrill me when I rewatch it again… reminds me of Stranger Things and no 11

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