Cathedrals will fall, the river will run red... and THE BIRD will be SLAUGHTERED!

REVIEW: The Heretics

– By MovieCritic NextDoor

Getting kidnapped by a sacrificial satanic cult is the sort of thing that can ruin your whole life. Just ask Gloria (Nina Kiri), who is still struggling with the fallout five years later. Still, Gloria is one of the lucky ones, since this particular satanic cult has a weird idea of sacrifice — they killed themselves rather than the girl they kidnapped, leaving her covered in blood and completely freaked out, but alive.

Now Gloria attends group therapy sessions with other survivors of abuse, and also works at the soup kitchen run by her local church. Otherwise she lives quietly with her mother Ruth (Nina Richmond) and enjoys spending time with her girlfriend of almost exactly one year, Joan (Jorja Cadence), who bears the scars from her own abusive relationship. Joan still has some serious anger issues and probably shouldn’t be carrying that knife, but she does seem genuinely very fond of Gloria. It’s not such a bad life, but Gloria still can’t help but wish things had gone differently.

But the cultists did have a plan beyond merely traumatizing their victim for the rest of her life, and now that plan is in motion again. Gloria was kidnapped during the Locust Moon, and now another such moon is about to rise, signalling the next phase of the ritual to summon a powerful demon. The Locust Moon isn’t really a thing as far as I can tell, but it should be. Now Gloria finds herself captured again, by Thomas (Ry Barrett), and taken to an isolated cabin in the woods (of course) to await her fate. By the next sunrise it will all be over, Thomas assures her, but “over” can mean a lot of things.

It’s a somewhat gruesome movie, and not just from the blood — the ritual does horrible things to poor Gloria and she spends half the film covered in some kind of goo. But it isn’t quite the standard ‘cultists trying to summon the forces of darkness’ trope, and I liked the slightly different take they had on it. Thomas is both sinister and sympathetic, struggling to do what needs to be done even though he isn’t always sure what that is.

Both Thomas and Joan are fascinating characters, and while Gloria is stuck with the generally thankless role of victim she manages to occasionally rise above the usual limitations of that part. Add a solid script, a steady build of tension, and a couple of nifty little plot twists and you’ve got a four out of five star movie. And never underestimate those focused, fanatical cultists — they’re always playing the long game.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Slaughtered Bird Films’ horror short film, BURN, nabs festival awards!
We don’t like to blow our own trumpets here at The Slaughtered Bird but, y’know, FUCK IT – we’re damn proud of our debut film production, BURN, created in collaboration with Dragon Egg Media! Since post-production finished last year, our 15-minute short has received numerous excellent reviews, been busy finding its feet on the festival circuit and gratefully receiving many Official Selection laurels from around the world, and now it’s picked up its first award… or three! Read on...
INTERVIEW: David Naughton
untitled It’s not every day you get to speak to the lead actor in possibly your favourite horror film of all time. Especially on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are usually rubbish! David Naughton should need no introduction to horror fans. Back in 1981, An American Werewolf In London had unprepared cinema goers laughing heartily one second and jumping out of their seats in terror the next. Its tale of two young American tourists coming face-to-teeth with a legendary lycanthropic beast perfectly married a genuinely funny script with razor sharp editing, groundbreaking special effects and a flawless cast to create a monster movie that is still many people’s benchmark today Read on...
Advertise HERE!
CQJR7SyWwAADBd_ We currently have advertising space available at very reasonable rates, so if you have a product you want to let people know about then please email us at with your needs and we can give you more info. Read on...