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Film review | The Conspiracy (2012) | This found-footage faux documentary is a tense exercise in escalating paranoia

conspiracy poster

THE STORY Filmmakers Jim (James Gibert) and Aaron (Aaron Poole) are shooting a documentary about Terrance G, a conspiracy theorist convinced that all major world events – from World War One to 9/11 – are the responsibility of a secret society controlling the course of history for profit. Suddenly, after weeks of surveillance, Terrance goes missing. Digging deeper, Aaron and Jim meet journalist Mark Tucker (Bruce Clayton) who has links to the mysterious Tarsus Club, and with his help infiltrate the cult’s annual retreat to uncover the truth…

THE LOWDOWN This Canadian found-footage faux documentary following what happened to Jim and Aaron when they infiltrated the Tarsus club is a frightfully tense, taunt exercise in escalating paranoia.

The first 50-minutes, in which the budding Bernstein and Woodward duo connect the dots linking the Tarsus club with the ancient Persian cult of Mithras, one of the world’s first secret societies, and a New World Order in which one secret underground government is controlling shifts in financial markets and foreign policy is gripping stuff. And the character of Aaron, whose frustrations with the world are only fuelled by the sinister scenario unfolding, helps bring the film’s paranoia bubbling to the surface.

But when the boys finally infiltrate the club, the film’s found footage device becomes a little confusing – just who is filming them and why are the voices and faces of the club’s member’s altered? But it’s not until the big pay off that you get the answer. I won’t give anything away, but look out for Chance Investments in the credits, and you’ll get a clue. Very sinister indeed.

Out on Blu-ray and DVD from 11 October 2013, from Arrow Films