Cult Following (2021)

The Score: 5 out of 10

Tyler, a documentary filmmaker, follows occult hunter Rob Regis on his hunt for an evil cult.

An evil cult that turns out to be very real, and very dangerous.

The Review:

I don’t like films that try to force their comedy, and there are scenes in Cult Following that are forced. Very forced. It’s too forced for my liking, which only made the boring content drag out even longer.

The whole thing drags out far too much, especially with as low budget of an approach as everything is. It’s just unfortunate  because with a higher budget and better pacing, this could have actually worked as a horror/comedy.

The acting is fine, there’s no issue with the cast. Plus it’s always good to see Jeannie Elise Mai get more work. Garrett Marchbank stands out most here for his very intense performance as Rob Regis.

The writing is where things are at their weakest. The plot just sort of drags out, with the major events only somewhat sticking out. Nothing ends up being overly creepy, and nothing ends up feeling overly natural either because of it. It’s just a drag of a drag of a drag. There could have been something much better here. The dialogue is okay too, but comes across as threadbare, and reveals very little about the characters, as do their backstories. We get that there’s something here, but it’s so under-developed that it’s not worth the journey to it.

While there is a way to film things raw, the visual style for Cult Following doesn’t work. There’s no sense of aesthetic, and they even occasionally, inexplicably break some common filmmaking rules. There’s nothing as problematic as a perspective shift that shoves you out of the experience.  But it at least looks somewhat charming. It has that going for it.

Cult Following is, at best, a mediocre horror/comedy mockumentary. At worst, it’s a case in point of how NOT to film a mockumentary.

-Joseph

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