Movie Review: The Conspiracy

WARNING: This film may cause bouts of paranoid schizophrenia.

The Conspiracy is quite an experience to take in. From the first ten minutes, the viewer is aware that something isn’t right and that the government may be to blame. The Conspiracy follows Terrance G., a well-known conspiracy theorists. He has it all figured out, from 9/11 being an inside job to the Illuminati and other secret societies being the cause of disappearing citizens.

At first, Christopher MacBride, the director makes it alarmingly obvious that this man is not mentally stable. When being filmed in his home, it is apparent that he doesn’t have his grooming and organizational skills on the top of his list of priorities. His walls are plastered with various newspaper clippings, the windows are dusty and covered for privacy and there seems to be no life to his home. After a series of interviews with this man he is suddenly gone. Terrance has for all intents and purposes, disappeared. His apartment has been ransacked in a haphazard-way and there is no trace of him.

So after the guys took home many of the ripped-down articles from Terrance’s apartment, Aaron begins trying to put it back together and maybe find what it was that someone didn’t want anyone to know. Aaron and Jim stumble across this elite club known as the Tarsus Club that seems to have a secret meeting a couple of months before any major event happens in the United States. After all their research, they find one guy who is willing to give them some information. After a few months of investigation and meeting with others, Aaron comes home to find his apartment had been broken into and ransacked. It appears to them that it was staged to look like a regular burglary with $40 and a pair of sneakers missing, but they suspect something more.

They suspect they are being followed by spies and after much turmoil, decide to use a bit of information to infiltrate one of these secret meetings. There is much ado about dressing up, attaching hidden cameras and sneaking into the location through one of the local groundskeepers. Here’s where it gets really interesting. The secret group of all white, middle-aged men are trotting around with drinks in their hand, calling each other “brother”. There is a ritual performed called the slaughtering of the bull. I won’t ruin any more for you.

Conspiracy theories actually make sense and could have a pocket of truth to them, but how do you handle all of these “truths”? Most will cast it off as crazy talk because that’s more comfortable for them. “Terrance and guys like them, if they’re wrong, then it’s easy to see them as delusional, but if they’re not…” – Aaron.

MacBride gave a convincing story about conspiracies and secret societies, however, certain moments in the film are tell-tale signs that this whole thing has been rigged. For instance, the sound and camera shots are impeccable for what is supposed to be a found footage type of documentary. Angles on their hidden cameras were convenient and had me leaning in my seat to reproduce what type of stance they must have been taking to get the shot. They also make a point to show the hands of the man they sit down with and interview. It is made to look like this is a guy that got too close to the truth and they broke his hands for it. But in reality, the man was just suffering from rheumatoid arthritis with a bad case of cardiovascular issues, which caused the swelling in the finger-tips. (There’s the nurse in me coming out again.) It was also odd to me that only one name is ever given out. All the other names are bleeped out and everyone’s face is blurred along with their voice being changed on film. So, right away you know that this isn’t a film that sets out to expose the truth. Although, after seeing the ending, the blurred faces and changed voices start to make more sense.

So yes, this is a faux documentary, or a mockumentary, whichever you prefer. But just like The Blair Witch Project pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes back in 1999 for a short while, this film sets out to do the same. Even if you can see the faux-ness from the beginning, it was still one hell of a ride.

I give The Conspiracy 4 “Slaves to the Bull” out of 5

by Angela Davis

About Angela

Angela is the Editor-in-Chief of Lost in Reviews. She and Ryan created Lost in Reviews together in 2009 out of a mutual hatred for all the stodgy old farts currently writing film reviews. Since launching the site, Angela has enjoyed reviewing indie films over all other films, picking up new music from all corners of the world and photographing live shows. She is the co-host of Blu Monday and a member of the Kansas City Film Critic Circle.

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