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Believers (UR)
DVD disk
10.30.2007 By: Mathew Plale
Believers (UR) order
Director:
Daniel Myrick

Actors:
Johnny Messner
Jon Huertas
Daniel Benzali

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A deeply involved religion (read: cult) try to avoid the end of the world, while two paramedics try to avoid their scientific experiments.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
What do you say of a man whose strongest directorial effort sent three students into the woods and, more or less, let them run free and shoot their own style? The Blair Witch Project is an effective movie, but not because of director Daniel Myrick, who significantly reduced his role to shaking a tent.

Raw Feed's latest, Believers, isn’t effective because of Myrick. His (and co-writer Julia Fair’s) ideas, a thumbed nose at organized religion (hovering over Scientology), are almost interesting, but the execution takes it to an extreme.

There are scientific experiments conducted by the Quanta Group, a religious sect headed by The Teacher (Benzali), a Tobin Bell type who drags the movie through monologues that could be shortened to a sentence or two. His cult (we know they’re a cult by their robotic tongues and matching uniforms that, far as we can tell, only come in white) kidnaps a pair of paramedics (Messner, Huertas), if not just to establish some sort of plot.

As the viewer, it’s hard to get caught up in this movie. It’s got a Twilight Zone vibe, but unfortunately for Believers, it’s the 2002 UPN revival that’s being channeled. There’s not enough to hold our interest, as we’re choked with a uniquely enticed sex scene (with The Young and the Restless beauty Deanna Russo), car chases (where silences are filled with obvious fodder like “They’re after us!”), and pretentious sci-fi lines along the “It’s where we go to learn the truth” path.

Some will hate Believers for what it thinks it’s saying. Others, like myself, will hate it because of its boggling plot, thin characters, and sheer incoherence.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by Director Daniel Myrick & Julia Fair: Not a wholly in-depth commentary, but the duo offer a few scene specific tidbits that make the conversation sporadically worth a listen.

The remainder of the featurettes could have just been lumped into an Alternate/Deleted Scenes section, but instead are giving top-shelf treatment.

Extended Lina Vance Interview (3:53): Faux-TV host Lina Vance sits down with IO in this longer version of the opening scene. Twice as long and a hundred times as idiotic.

Introduction to The Facility (3:34): IO takes the role as tour guide and rule guideliner through the movie’s primary location, The Facility, where the Quanta Group holes up until they leave the planet.

The Teacher (Hidden Camera) (2:48): “Numbers became my friends,” says The Teacher. Who writes this stuff?!

IO Explains the Formula (Night Vision) (3:39): Care to have one of the many “depths” of Believers elaborated upon? If so, this is for you…you sad, sad person.

The Aftermath (Forensic Video) (4:41): Again, more additional footage that may as well just have been in the movie. It’s not as if Myrick had anything to lose.

Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Ever wish for the end of the world? I got close while watching Believers, but my birthday is this month. Skip this one and take in The Blair Witch Project instead...even if you hated it.
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