Acolytes (2008)

   
Directed by: Jon Hewitt

Written by: Shayne Armstrong & Shane Krause

Starring:

Hanna Mangin Lawrence .... Chasley
Joel Edgerton .... Ian Wright
Joshua Payne .... James
Michael Dorman .... Gary Parker
Sebastian Gregory .... Mark

Release Dates: Melbourne International Film Festival: August 1, 2008 (Premiere); Fantasy Film Festival: August 13, 2008 (Germany); Toronto Film Festival: September 8, 2008; Fantastic Fest: September 20, 2008; Hong Kong International Film Festival: April 3, 2009; Espoo Film Festival: August 22, 2009

Rating:

 

Shy high-schooler Mark (Sebastian Gregory) stumbles upon a fresh grave in the woods of his peaceful suburb and spies a 4WD driving away from the scene. Together with friends James (Joshua Payne) and Chasely (Hanna Mangan-Lawrence), they return to the scene to unearth what they imagine is buried cash or drugs.

Their bit of fun turns perilous, however, when they uncover a body. The boys realize that their grim discovery could help them exact revenge upon their nemesis Gary Parker (Michael Dorman), so they embark upon a hunt for the identity of the killer (played with frightening realism by Joel Edgerton).

Acolytes quickly turns into a sinister tale of deception and betrayal as the three teens find themselves in over their heads, trying to outwit a serial killer as he turns the tables on them and lures them into his violent world.

 

I couldn't understand the story too well as everything was happening fast and didn't overly explain itself too well plus it seemed more like a murder mystery than a horror till quarter way through. The film was rough to say it all.
There's some nice suspenseful shots on a character named Tanya Lee was running through the woods and hitting a branch falling down as well as a jumping moment with a vehicle hitting her as this is an attention grabber. There are nice camera shots on a car racing by and then a good close up shot on a butterfly on a tree.
We spot many good shots on some of the main characters in the flick hanging out and taking walks to different areas of the town like in a neighborhood looking at a missing sign and guessing what happened to this person or going by a deserted drive in as well as making out with one another and smoking weed.
We spot some good shots on them in the woods and digging up a corpse and a camera closing in on the main character Chasley and she turns around with a gasp and then running through the woods with the odd screaming which was impressive.
We spot a good shot on Chasley in a hole that was dug up screaming after spotting the corpse and gasping the words who the corpse is which looked terrorising.
We have a perfect situation with James on a merry go round acting slick towards his friends about finding the killer and then Chasley kissing him on the merry go round with Mark pushing the merry go round to go faster and then charging his head towards the merry go round knocking himself out with James speaking shocked towards him.
There's a good shot on the three of them stopping and watching Gary Parker at his house and then he watches them coldly coming towards them with James panicking telling them to drive away mjaking the story seem fairly effective while watching this.
We have a nice energetic scene with the three main characters running away from a black vehicle and then when they manage to get away there's a good shot on Gary looking at them with James cussing him out.
We have great camera takes on Gary driving his car and chasing after Mark with a suspenseful take on the car hitting him and then tumbling to the ground crying in pain with Gary looking down on him and getting menacing with him with great close up shots on this character.
We have a nice brief discussion with a parents crying and holding onto Chasley's hand with a perfect close up shot on him doing so.
We spot great dark shots on Mark and James looking through a house they broke into with a phone ringing which almost makes you jump.
There's a great shot looking up and down on Ian Wright in the woods looking around with good brief intense shots on some murders leaving it that nice creepy touch to it.
We spot many good shots on Ian in his home checking up on things as well as him sitting on a bed as if he's watching TV and then answering a phone with perfect aggressions on James threatening him they'll go to the cops for a murder he committed with his expressionless response towards them.
There's a good shot on Ian holding a gun next to Gary and demanding him to give him answers.
We spot some suspenseful shots on Gary driving in his car like a maniac with both Mark, James and Chasley freaking out in the passenger seat.
There's a great dark shot on a shadowy figure going through a sewer pipe holding a flashlight towards some people crying.
There's a good cold reaction with Gary while the three actors Mark, James and Chasley are sobbing in the back seat.
We spot some good shots on Gary shooting his bow and arrow towards Mark and James leaving a nice horror impression.
There's a good shot on Mark picking up a boulder and heaving it many times on Gary's head which looked quite brutal.
We have a good argumentive conversation between Chasley and James about going to the police or hospital on what had happened.
We have a nice painful reaction on Mark when Chasley pulls out an arrow that he was stabbed from.
There's a great shot on James turning around and suddenly an angered attack out of nowhere by Ian which makes you jump
A nice shot on Mark slowly walking into a bathroom and uncovering a corpse in a bathtub and then a good close up on him looking shocked and slowly backing away.
We spot some great shots with Ian next to Chasley tied in chains and gagged with Mark watching all of this.
Bottom lin is that we do have some good performances by the young cast members and nice touchings on the adults being suspects on the murders with good shots in the woods too along with a few jumps which saves this film for being below average. Otherwise if you're into total horror this one may not be for you. Oh well we can't all win.

The acting is not too bad as the lead actress played by Hanna Mangin Lawrence does well with her screaming and emotions too along with the odd aggressions bringing everything together quite well with what she had to do for the whole storyline.
Joel Edgerton
showed his stuff looking like a normal family man but really a psychotic killer and knew how to speak with his soft silent words.
Joshua Payne
was the best teen actor in the film who knew how to act aggressive towards the people he thinks were killers and was great by behaving demanding like too. He shows terrific stern expressions to top it all off proving to be a worthy character actor. He also knew on how to act very slick with what he was doing too.
Michael Dorman
showed the perfect tough and mean looks as one of the suspects and totally knew how to act like a nasty bully with his actions to top it all off. Hats off to this fellow.

An arrow is shot in a teens arm
A rock is bloodily bashed in a guys face

We have lots of creepy rusty sounds for the film as well as the hissing sounds too all blending in together for the plotlines composed by David Frankze.