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The Conspiracy: A worthy example of low-budget genre filmmaking

The Conspiracy Aaron (Aaron Poole) and Jim (James Gilbert) are documentary filmmakers who decide to make a film about Terrance G. (Alan C. Peterson), a local conspiracy theorist who takes to the streets and shouts his theories through a megaphone.

3 out of 4 stars

Title
The Conspiracy
Written by
Christopher MacBride
Directed by
Christopher MacBride
Starring
Aaron Poole, James Gilbert
Genre
Thriller
Country
Canada
Language
English
Year
2013

A worthy example of low-budget genre filmmaking, Christopher MacBride's The Conspiracy does more with a found-footage conceit than any horror movie since The Blair Witch Project.

A pair of Toronto-based documentarians (Aaron Poole and James Gilbert) come into contact with an unkempt conspiracy theorist (Alan Peterson), who rants unendingly about the shadowy machinations of a New World Order; after he disappears, the filmmakers find themselves infected by a similar strain of paranoia and take up his cause.

The film's faux-documentary textures aren't quite flawless – the dialogue is stilted and there are a lot of recognizable Canadian actors on hand in bit parts – but the integration of real-world news footage and archival material into the narrative creates a sense of credible menace.

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And, unlike other horror directors working with considerably greater resources, MacBride sticks his landing. The long closing sequence, which combines an irresistible piece of high-tech gimmickry with loving allusions to a host of classic thrillers, is eerily effective, while the carefully prepared coda gives this underdog a satirical bite.

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About the Author

Adam Nayman is a contributing editor for Cinema Scope and writes on film for Montage, Sight and Sound, Reverse Shot and Cineaste. He is a lecturer at Ryerson and the University of Toronto and his first book, a critical study of Paul Verhoeven's SHOWGIRLS, will be published in 2014 by ECW Press. More

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