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BR1 (2019)

This is horror at its finest. Witnessing the painful, torturous ordeal this woman had to go through for her survival, that ultimately forced her into conforming to the will of the commune is just simply horrific. This isn't gore filled, and barring one scene I don't think there is any real scenes or violence. It is the psychological manipulation that makes this film as terrifying as it is. I imagine there are communities out there that live similar to what we are thrust into here and for me that is insane. To be taken and held against your own free will is a fate worse than death in my opinion and this film displays that perfectly. The strongest element of this film for me was without a doubt the plot and the way it plays out. I was caught off guard by the way in which the plot made me feel as a viewer. It was a very human concept, with no fanciful elements and that for me made it even more frightening as it wasn't far detached from reality. The plot was mysterious and unpredictable, I had no idea of the plot from the opening act and as the film progressed the bigger my investment grew. I will say though that the first 20 minutes of exposition and development of key characters does drag slightly. The content is integral to the plot, it just drawn out at times and I feel it could have handled its set up better. Do persist past this, because once this film gets going it definitely pays off. Taylor Nichols does a great job of playing cult leader Jerry and his performance was incredibly compelling. I'm amazed I haven't seen him in more stuff. Even in his calmest and soothing tone he still manages to provide a creepy darkness to his character. Sarah played by Nicole Brydon Bloom gives the performance of a lifetime. She does a great job exploring the range within her character, whether it's her true self or her facade that she shows the commune in order to gain their trust. She is a very convincing actress whose performance could have very easily been the 'make or break' of this film. Ronen Landa's elegant and haunting classical piano score compliments this film beautifully and really heightens the emotion at integral moments. I am a big fan of classical film scores and classical music in general. It reminded me of the score to the original Resident Evil game from Ps1, the segments in the mansion in particular. This is a film I had no idea what it's premise was about going in, and I was blown away by not only the incredible performances but how strong the writing is. Feeling very much like a combination of Martyrs and The Invitation, I wish I could talk more about certain plot points but I think that this is best enjoyed knowing very little. I would strongly recommend that you seek out this film and show it the support it deserves.


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