Yep, a little late getting this one up here, once again…but it’s the type of movie I need to watch at least twice before I can really make my mind up on it.
The Faith Community covers what can only be described as ‘the creepy side of evangelists’ – it’s not a new concept to the Found Footage genre (The Sacrament, Children of Sorrow and a few others I can’t remember off the top of my head!) but more often than not it seems to work quite well.
Three young students head towards the remote Maryland woods to attend a Bible retreat. One of the students is a skeptic, whilst the other two consider themselves ‘slightly Christian’ – they decide to take a camera so they can document events…
I think that’s as far as I can go with this film – nearly there…but just off the mark slightly with a few choice scenes.
It’s worth pointing out that this was a super-zero-budget production, but you don’t exactly need CGI for this type of subject, do you?
At times I really began to enjoy the delivery of the scenes, then suddenly, we’d move onto the following scene and I’d be left with that ‘Naaa’ feeling.
The center portion of the movie is it’s standout quality – when there are long scenes with ‘The Messenger’ (Jeremy Harris). His creepy grin combined with quite impressive acting skills worked wonders for keeping the movie interesting (and pointing it in the right direction).
These interview sequences are notable for their long takes and their strong performances.
Unfortunately, the scenes that surround these ‘pillar takes’ are not that good…at all…and some are even laughable.
I know what director Faith R Johnson was going for with this movie – and that sort of makes it watchable. I also feel that if she/he/whatever had a slightly bigger budget, they may have made better decisions on certain scenes.
For example (and I’m trying desperately not to hit any spoilers here!) the final scene of Janessa Floyd was possibly the most cringe-worthy scene I’ve ever sat through – talk about a girl with the image of an Oscar in her head!!!
She goes on, and man, does she go fucking on!
I don’t know whether this was a director’s choice, or it was ad libbed and the filmmakers thought “Wow – Al Pacino’s speech in Scent of a Woman“…
What I do know is that it was bonkers, and the film didn’t need it, at all (Oh, and she’s NOT gonna win a fucking Oscar, that’s for sure!).
I was also a little baffled by the documentary group’s inability to escape the camp – this bunch of God Bangers weren’t exactly a London mob gang, if anything, they seemed soft as shit!
Unfortunately, these ‘captured’ scenes allowed the film to fall into a downwards spiral, to which it never really recovered.
BUT….It’s not all bad.
As I touched on above, some of the longer scenes, particularly the ones involving the impressive Jeremy Harris, were very memorable…and even quite creepy.
At the end of the day, I’m afraid the tiresome freaking out of the documentary makers and their inability to smack the shit out of the ‘cult’ and run, really nailed the coffin lid shut on this film.
Worth watching for Jeremy Harris’s excellent portrayal of The Messenger…but too many holes that can’t be ignored overall.