Canadian Film Festival 2017: Our Review of ‘The Heretics’

Canadian Film Festival 2017: Our Review of ‘The Heretics’

You’ve got to love surprises.

From Breakthrough Entertainment and Director Chad Archibald; The Heretics is a very effectively creepy effort that actually allows for mood and tone to build horror and suspense rather than drowning it in blood.

As we open on a vicious cult who has kidnapped a young girl (Nina Kiri) with the intent of sacrificing themselves by the light of the locust moon, we naturally fear the worse.  However the next morning the girl wakes up, caked in drying blood and surround by corpses, looking like she has avoided the worst of it all and is safe…or is she?  Years later and still traumatized by the events in her past, the locust moon is getting ready to rise again and she’s taken captive by a surviving member of the cult (Ry Barrett).  In a desolate remote cabin she learns that there has been a demon growing inside her for all these years, and it’s about to finally wake up.

Easily his most accomplished project by a country mile, director Chad Archibald has found his wheel house here with The Heretics.  It’s a dark and moody affair that isn’t propelled by cheap jump scares but by a confident visual panache that manages to ooze dread from the frame along with a very solid script from screenwriter Jayme LaForest that has faith in itself, letting the words and not any excess blood do the work.  Both Kiri and Barrett go above and beyond as Kiri’s attempts to understand it all and Barrett tortured brooding presence just drag us down this demented rabbit hole that we are set upon.

It’s ultimately the right balance of quality storytelling and confident stylistic choices that turn The Heretics into one of the strongest horror outing that we’ve seen in 2017.

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David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.