XLrator Media is quickly becoming one of my favorite studios which releases films in the horror genre, under their Macabre label. I know Roger has written reviews for a few of their films (see Saturday Morning Mystery, Banshee Chapter) and after watching Outpost, myself, I can say I know for certain that this studio is dedicated to releasing only the best to the horror community. Mitchell Altieri’s Holy Ghost People is definitely no exception to that notion.
Charlotte (Emma Greenwell) is in search of her sister whom she has not seen in over a year. With the aid of ex-marine Wayne (Brendan McCarthy) who Charlotte has called upon for a favor, the journey to the top of “sugar mountain” and to the Church of One Accord begins. The two decide to stay for a few days to see what they can uncover regarding Charlotte’s missing sister who, suspiciously, no one has any recollection of ever knowing. Facing their own pasts and the dark demons that are encompassed within, Charlotte and Wayne must get to the bottom of what Brother Billy (Joe Egender) and his congregation are really all about.
I have to say that for the most part, I am not a huge fan of slow-burn films. I am a patient man, but for some reason, I always feel the payoff never quite justifies the means with which it arrives. The same can be said about Holy Ghost People, but ironically I am okay with that. I’m okay with this slow-burn film because it is done so well, otherwise.
I’ve been a fan of Emma Greenwell ever since the first time I saw her in the Showtime series, Shameless. I am extremely happy to see her getting work outside of that show, and am even more happy with how great of a job she has done. Additionally, Egender, McCarthy, and pretty much the entire rest of the cast do remarkably well. I really cannot say anything negative, as I really do feel that the acting in this film was executed without flaw.
The most effective types of films in this genre are always the ones which could happen in real life. Altieri and his team of writers capture the psychological terror of a backwoods, religious cult masterfully. I’ve never been part of a group of snake-dancers, but I can imagine it’d be exactly like is portrayed here; The level of deception and mass hysteria is quite uncanny.
I feel the ending could have been better, but it isn’t quite a deal breaker, in this case. If you are looking for a great slow-burn horror film, I highly recommend Holy Ghost People.
Be sure to support XLrator Media by picking up the official DVD, officially being released next Tuesday, April 8.
I give this film 3.5 snake bites out of 5.