One of Us
One of Us is about a journalist who is investigating a commune of weird hippies in the forest that she believes is involved in the disappearance of several young women. Turns out said hippies are actually a cult made up of several young women and one charismatic man. The plot thickens when the protagonist’s ex-cop sister discovers who is at the head of this group and comes to pull her sister out before it’s too late. Of all the movies I’ve seen that build on this premise I think this one may be my favorite.
I’m going to break from form a little bit here and instead of really going into everything, I’m just going to tell you why you should watch this film. There were a handful of things that made this movie so enjoyable. The pacing was great; it was a little slow starting but once it got going it really didn’t stop. The tension stays pretty high and is usually broken by well executed scares or twists. The characters are developed just enough and the dialog is pretty solid. That’s all good and well but the thing that really set this one apart is the cult leader, Brent.
Holy shit, you guys. I’m going to try to not give away any big spoilers here but I’m gonna tell you why I liked this character so much. I liked him so much because I absolutely fucking loathed him but at the same time I could see how he could get these women in close enough to pull them into his flock. He’s like the love child of Charles Manson and David “Avocado” Wolfe. You know, the curly headed guy who tells people that GMO food is poison and the government is using it as a weapon against the “sheeple”. He also promotes using cyanide for cancer treatment. Basically, he spews pseudoscientific bullshit and platitudes and has a huge following. At one point Brent goes on a tangent that sounded like it could have been written by ol guacamole man himself and continuously spews new-age hippie sounding platitudes at his followers. So yeah, he’s pretty much David Avocado Manson.
The single greatest thing about Brent is how he keeps his followers in line. The dude uses fucking scopolamine, “Devil’s breath”, or as I like to call it, “The most horrifying substance known to man”. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a drug that can be introduced into the system just by having it on your skin. What does the drug do? It takes away your free will and basically turns you into a slave zombie. There are real life accounts of people being dosed with a tiny bit of this stuff right before emptying their bank accounts, handing over all their money, and helping people move all the furniture out of their house. From all that I know about it, the movie didn’t embellish its effects at all; which is probably the most terrifying part.Bottom line, One of Us is a really enjoyable movie with some solid acting and really good writing. It’ll be out on DVD and in VOD December 12th which is just in time to stop watching those damned Christmas movies and watch something a little different.