Whether you believe or not in something superior, it doesn’t matter. That thing that you probably give space in your beliefs can give you more reasons to keep your faith, or those that you try to suppress can push you to believe no matter how much damage it causes you. The Believer maintains this pattern of ideologies with an impressive brainwashing that can even make you feel bad for one of the characters.
Lucas (Aidan Bristow), an out-of-work nuclear scientist, struggles with tension in his marriage after his wife Violet (Sophie Kargman) mysteriously terminates her pregnancy without his consent. As his physical health begins to inexplicably deteriorate, his wife’s behavior grows increasingly bizarre and he seeks clarity from his therapist Dr. Benedict (Billy Zane). Exhausted by his job search, strange events begin to occur at his home and his medical condition progressively declines. As things keep getting worse for Lucas, he starts to questions the effectiveness of his treatment, the intentions of his wife and his mental health as reality begins to fade. Can Lucas jump back to his reality or has it been modified to accommodate his idea of reality to a newly built one?
The Believer believes in powerful editing with meaningless jump scares that are effective when you’re concentrated on the characters and their surroundings. Despite adopting several mainstream clichés, it manages to maintain its own weird vibe that stands out from the ordinary. Just as the characters play with Lucas’ sanity, it also constantly plays with the emotions of the audience by putting them on the edge of their seats on more than one occasion. It is a gloomy film with dark elements that, although it does not give any indication of preserving a supernatural vibe, it does imply that anything can happen just like a demon can appear to a celestial being.
The Believer believes in having a terrific script denying most of its own reasonable plot in a reasonable way for the sake of sick and gruesome twists that come every 10 minutes. The build-up feels quick and intense and most of the time it’s thanks to how weird some characters are. The way they have personified these profiles is very dense but very satisfying that it may even lead you to root for one of them while hating another. The emotions that they show if they are a bit austere and cold but adapt them according to the moment they are acting— they have perfect timing for each action. The dialogue is very strong; it’s punchy, quick and smart. It pushes all limits to the extent of keeping everything lifted and never letting it fall until the very end when all masks are off and the showdown begins.
The Believer is pure psychological horror that leaves an open question to the audience to make their own conclusions and to answer themselves— what do you believe in?
10 OUT OF 10 BROKEN DINNER PLATES