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Acolytes (Jon Hewitt, 2008) Joel Edgerton, Michael Dorman, Sebastian Gregory, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Joshua Payne, Belinda McClory

Acolytes is a film directed by Jon Hewitt which I saw twice. I was once again trapped by the commentary: having thought I'd just listen to the beginning, I had to hear the whole thing. Partly because I wanted to know the origin of a tune crooned to a baby by Belinda McClory (the director's wife, by the way): I'd heard it but couldn't remember where – and it wasn't mentioned in the credits, except as 'Kay's Lullaby'. It was revealed in the commentary – right at the very end! – by the music guy, who then proceeded to play the original piece on the piano! It had been ripped off from one of Satie's 'Gymnopédies', without credit.

Hewitt had all the creatives on this amazing commentary: the dp, composer, editor … right down to the guy who built the 'muscle car', and the costume lady, who went on and on and on about the very ordinary everyday clothes all the characters were wearing. The music man was a mine of information as to the range of noises one can put on a thriller soundtrack. Bernard Herrmann was just a tyro compared to this guy.

I hope it's implied by my interest, as shown in all of the above, that I thought it was pretty good.

Unfortunately, after a strong first half, the film degenerates into some messily unconvincing blood-letting which might attract devotees of the genre but which is disappointingly conventional given what’s come before. David Stratton, At the Movies.

A combo of psychological thriller and bloody chiller, the film gains enormously from a relatively restrained approach to the gory bits. Andrew L. Urban, urban cinefile.

Garry Gillard | New: 11 October, 2012 | Now: 23 November, 2019