You know, I almost went off and forgot that I re-watched this thing the other day… I remember back in the old days when I used to leave work early on Friday to get to the DVD store before the high school kids got out and swiped all of the horror, that I picked this up without knowing anything about it, watched it in the old recliner and liked it. When I was laying in bed the other morning and had nothing to do, I found this on Netflix streaming and thought I would give it another shot and about half way through I asked myself what was it about this that I liked after all but then it picked up towards the end and my decision ended up justified. And that’s a good thing because if we don’t make good, justifiable decisions then society will crumble and there won’t be any more Parks and Recreation or Doctor Who and we’ll never get Kung Fu Hustle 2 and the machines will take over and life as we know it will end and soon we’ll all be living underground like rats and we’ll probably end up eating each other when the food runs out and soon enough we’ll have to go back up to the surface and the earth will be a piece of shit and we’ll have to adapt and learn how to eat dirt and rocks while we try and stay clear of the machines who have burned up our planet and there’s no hope – there’s no fucking hope! – so hopefully Jeffrey’s kids that he keeps going on and on and on about can develop a time machine because I guess we’ll have to send someone back in time to try and change the future so the human race can go on without any of that in the first place. It seems it’s a good thing I liked this movie the second time around.
So… Acolytes is about three Australian youths (Sebastian Gregory, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Joshua Payne) who come across a dead body out in the woods, track down who the serial killer is (a wonderful Joel Edgerton) and try to use him to get back at the guy who sexually abused two of them when they were just little boys (Michael Dorman). The first half of the movie spends a long time giving us the big set-up and introducing the characters and dynamics of the people involved, including a side / back story about a missing girl named Tanya Lee (Holly Baldwin) who, by the end, is actually a pretty pivotal character in this. Speaking of getting to the end, the second half, after they have introduced Edgerton’s character (and also his wife: Belinda McClory), things really get going and get suspenseful and even a little unnerving there towards the very end.
I thought this thing looked really good and the acting was believable from the three kids but pretty damn good from Edgerton as the silent, businessman, serial killer. It seems that the director of this, Jon Hewitt, went on to direct the not too bad X (which now appears to be called “X: Night of Vengeance”) using most of the same cast and, from what I remember, a bigger budget and lots of nakedness. There’s Acolytes for you and let’s keep our non mutated fingers crossed that we all continue to make good decisions.