THE CONSPIRACY (2012)
Written and Directed by Christopher MacBride
Two indie filmmakers, Aaron and Jim, decide to film a documentary about conspiracy theories and focus their attention on local conspiracy theorist Terrance G. Gaining his trust, Aaron and Jim find that Terrance is quite an intelligent man, and not some looney, but their innocent documentary takes a turn for the worst when Terrance myseriously disappears. Keen to leave well alone, Jim suggests they end the film there, but Aaron is keen to discover who, what, where and why Terrance disappeared, and retrieves all of Terrance’s newspaper clippings. As Aaron becomes deeper embroiled in the conspiracy theories that he discovers and reconstructs, the duo identify a secret club for the political and business elite, The Tarsus Club.
THE CONSPIRACY is a handheld camera “documentary” but unlike a lot of other movies of the found footage genre, The Conspiracy will take you out of your comfort zone and require you to use those grey cells as we follow the events unfolding on-screen.
The two filmmakers follow conspiracy theorist Terrance around as he preaches to anyone who’ll listen about the ‘real’ people and reasons behind 9/11, the Federal Reserve, the Kennedy assassination and many other world shattering events and secret organisations. Having watched the 9/11 documentary Loose Change a few years ago, I certainly have an opinion on the matter, and being quite an open thinker, if there’s evidence to back it up and not dispel it, then I am all ears. Conspiracy theories are of great interest to me so to see certain aspects explored in this film, some of which I already have an opinion on, blew me away.
The story, however, doesn’t spend a huge chunk discussing conspiracy theories about events that have passed, but instead the people who are ‘watching’ our every move. With the disappearance of Terrance, the film suddenly turns into a hunt for a mysterious group called The Tarsus Club, who may have something to do with Terrance’s disappearance and may be following the filmmakers as they embark on their quest for truth.
What is interesting is that we have two filmmakers, Aaron and Jim, who are poles apart in their viewpoints. With fear of dabbling with the unknown and powers greater than himself, Jim wants to quit whilst they are ahead, but Aaron has been bit by the conspiracy bug and is keen to find out where Terrence is and he knew that threatened these mysterious people so badly that they made him disappear for good, if indeed it was them.
For the bulk of the movie, the camera is quite steady but as Aaron and Jim intensify their research and go undercover, they decide to switch to tie pin badge cameras, which is where the film enters the dreaded shaky cam footage for the last half hour or so. Despite my hatred of it (due to motion sickness), the use of this style of camera is a necessity and is perfect for that particular segment of the movie. Also within the film, many people have their faces blurred and voices disguised to protect their identity. As you can tell, this is a professional effort, but as the film progresses, you’ll get the feeling that something isn’t quite right. You’ll begin to question what you’re watching and that’s when you yourself will start to create your own conspiracy theory as to what the heck is going on.
As we near the end, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Kill List and even The Blair Witch Project, with the steady buildup of the film culminating in this tense, on-the-edge-of-your-seat finale. It delivers 100% and will leave you plagued with the memory and knowledge of The Tarsus Club.
A thought-provoking mind melt, you’ll gasp at The Conspiracy‘s cleverness as it fools you over and over again. A mind-blowing watch that necessitates repeated viewing!