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We Joined A Cult

Garth Manor’s latest endeavor WE JOINED A CULT is a fun bite-sized morsel of horror/comedy that feels like a sketch comedy bit rather than a piece of serious cinema. Two friends show up to the park for a game of kickball and are immediately entreated to join a cult. What would your friends do if they were confronted by a dark-robed, yet cordial, man in the park asking the same question and holding out a clipboard? We all have that one friend that would sign up immediately, which is exactly what happens. From there, the film devolves into a raucous pile-on of hilarity as the other friend consistently refuses the increasingly deadly, but funny, pleading to join a cult. Without giving away the ending entirely, the two friends get to play kickball after all as the credits roll.

While the movie, at first, appears to be shot like cheap YouTube content, as soon as the blood starts to fly you can tell that the real effort and production budget was put into the effects. They’re well done and if this was shot at night, it would feel like a much higher budget, traditional, horror film. Shooting what is akin to EVIL DEAD in the middle of a park during the day adds a layer to the hilarity because it’s the last location/time you’d expect a massacre to occur. Special shout out goes to the editor of this film because the timing of the cuts in relation to the comedic bits is spot-on and makes for a fast-paced ride that will leave you gasping for breath from laughter.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching this short at two festivals so far (first at the Boston Underground Film Festival and next at Panic Fest in Kansas City). Both experiences were crowd pleasers and I found myself laughing at the same jokes the second time. It’s mindless fun, and sometimes I find myself craving that in a sea of festival movies that sometimes take themselves too seriously.

We Joined A Cult
Reviewed as part of the 2024 Boston Underground Film Festival
Directing
Screenplay
Cinematography
Sound
Acting
4.6

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