Believers is a 2007 horror film about a religious cult, directed by award winning director Daniel Myrick. It stars Johnny Messner and Jon Huertas as a pair of paramedics and Daniel Benzali as the Teacher (and prophet) of a religious cult. In addition, it features Sage Ryan Campbell as Libby, Deanna Russo as Rebecca, Elizabeth Bogush as Deborah, and John Wesley as the Leader (the most devoted follower of the cult).
The movie began with two paramedics responding to a distress call from a little girl. They arrived at the scene of the call (a gas station) and were administering CPR on the girl’s mother when a pickup truck pulled up with several members of the cult (carrying shotguns). This led to them both being kidnapped, along with the girl and her mother. Both of the paramedics refuse to accept the Teacher’s teachings and are locked up in bathroom stalls as a result, effectively turning the movie into a captivity narrative. The little girl is soon locked up as well when she doesn’t behave (according to the cult’s point of view). Meanwhile, he mother is resurrected. And in the process, she once again becomes a believer but has skin as cold as ice. Over time, one of the paramedics (Victor) succumbs to the cult’s teachings. And this leaves the other one and the girl with no choice but to escape before it’s too late for them as well.
The movie, itself, is not scary in the traditional sense—at least not in the way mainstream horror movies are usually portrayed today. Rather, it was more old school in its approach. It relies more heavily on suspense and creating a creepy atmosphere than making you jump out of your seat or gag at the sight of blood. Personally, I find this to be a welcome change of pace. The only flaw I really had with the movie is that a lot of the supporting cast seemed to lack acting ability, at least until I got used to the overall feeling of the cult. The two protagonists both did an exceptional job though (especially Messner).
This turned the movie into a near perfect horror movie, despite my hatred for the director’s most famous work (the Blair Witch Project). Essentially, it was one of the best horror movies I’d seen in years.