Fantastic Fest 2012
By Don Simpson | September 26, 2012
Director: Christopher MacBride
Writer: Christopher MacBride
Starring: Aaron Poole, James Gilbert, Angela Besharah, Bruce Clayton, Laura de Carteret, Ron Kennell, Alan C. Peterson
I often say this, but I will say it again. For the maximum viewing pleasure of Christopher MacBride’s The Conspiracy, I strongly recommend going into the experience completely oblivious to what you are about to see. I can say this with some confidence now because thankfully I knew absolutely nothing about this film beforehand and I was about 20 minutes into the film before I could confidently decide whether the footage is real or contrived.
For that reason alone, MacBride deserves a heck of a lot of credit — though I suspect most of the film’s viewers will not be able to enjoy such a naive perspective. Why? Well, it would be impossible for marketing and publicity departments to promote The Conspiracy without telling us something about it. The problem is, anything they say will be too much; and if they attempt to trick audiences into thinking the film is something that it is not, then said audiences will grow rabidly irate (see the ridiculous backlash over Catfish and I’m Still Here).
So, this is where I draw the line. If you have not seen The Conspiracy and you read any further, you will be heavily diluting the cinematic experience of this film. Okay, consider yourself fairly warned…
Aaron (Aaron Poole) and Jim (James Gilbert) are documentary filmmakers who have earned the trust of paranoid conspiracy theorist Terrance G. (Alan C. Peterson). We join them just as they are about to take their first foray into Terrance’s apartment. The footage they capture is cinematic gold as — unbeknownst of Aaron and Jim — Terrance is about to get the holy grail for conspiracy theorists, a reliable inside track on a secret society. Next thing Aaron and Jim know, they are going full immersion into a dangerous group of rich white men whose purpose is to propagate an all powerful New World Order.
The Conspiracy succeeds first and foremost because of MacBride’s steadfast vision. He never once alters from his plan, no matter how difficult it is to remain on track. Every aspect of the final edit serves one very important purpose: to keep us guessing. Whether the people and the situations are real or not does not matter as much as whether this film is blowing your fucking mind. Trust me, The Conspiracy works on far more levels than you could ever possibly be aware of while watching the film. After the film ends, take a long pause and think about what you just saw. Mind = blown? Yeah, that’s what I thought.