Directed by Jourdan McClure
“He Lied”. Well if that’s an understatement, I don’t know what is. Today I’m talking about Children of Sorrow, a movie that just came out on DVD on March 4th. I wanted to go in fresh with this one, so I did my best to read as little about the movie as possible. What happened next was an experience, to say the least.
We have Bill Oberst Jr. playing Simon Leach, the so-called “Father” of his own little cult. He also happens to be a con artist, and a very sick, sadistic bastard. He is a fan of being behind a camera as often as possible, and when he’s not doing one of his sermons, either Leach or his go-to girl Mary films many of the goings-on around the church grounds. That, in addition to the many security cameras installed around the premises.
The main (or who I thought was the main) antagonist is Ellen. Ellen joins the cult to determine what happened to her late sister, who was a member there before her apparent suicide. Unfortunately, the longer Ellen is among the members, the more she is gradually losing her resistance to the charismatic Father Leach.
It’s been a while since I found a horror flick that disturbed me in any significant way, but Children of Sorrow managed to do just that. Bill Oberst Jr. is very good (maybe too good? lol) at being an incredibly creepy cult leader who, despite the things he later does to his flock, somehow manages to keep the members under his thrall.
The other members of the cult are very convincing in their desire to belong and be happy, even to the point of being blind to Leach’s increasingly terrible treatment of them. There was some resistance and doubt later on from a couple of the members, which I liked. It wouldn’t have been convincing to me if not one person had any kind of second thoughts as to what was happening to them. Either way, you really feel for these characters, as they were emotionally and mentally weak and easy prey for Father Leach.
You’ll have to have some patience in terms of exciting things happening. The first half of the flick is, for the most part, pretty upbeat and positive, with the cult members really enjoying their time as a “family”. but as soon as the second half begins, things start to deteriorate into gradual madness and abuse. And some eventual bloodshed.
Children of Sorrow is shot in a found-footage style, though it’s not supposed to be considered a found-footage movie. I did have a problem with how shaky the camera was. Even when nobody was moving, the camera was shaking as if somebody was taking a brisk walk or even a light job. But it still isn’t bad to the point of being unwatchable.
At first, I was unsure how I felt about Ellen’s devolving into another brainwashed member of Leach’s family. Given the way she was presented, it seemed like she was the one who was going to put a stop to everything going on. But after some thought, I decided I actually liked how it turned out. After all, she was also hurt and distraught about her sister’s death, hence making her easy prey just like all the others.
So, after all that, if you’re looking for a movie that’s very cerebral, has all-around great acting and a very disturbing second half, check out Children of Sorrow. If either the events that transpire or Bill Oberst Jr.’s nude scene don’t affect you in some way, you have no soul. Until next time, rest in peace.
Macabre Rating: 4 out of 5 tombstones.