I am a sucker for the ‘THIS IS FOOTAGE FROM A POLICE DEPARTMENT ‘sort of found footage films. It lends a pseudo-authenticity to the film that makes you all tingly and scratches that murder-mystery itch.
We KNOW this isn’t police property, but it’s fun to sorta believe it.
The problem with this is, like found footage itself, that you are setting a sort of standard that we are going to have to accept or deny. Either we buy that this was police footage/official footage and it should be presented in this way or it’s a movie, and that’s just a title card.
Now, even a movie can have its footage confiscated but the problem is that the more of a movie you make it, the less believable it is. This is why I always cringe when I hear music in a found footage movie that serves not as incidental background but as score.
Super hard to look past that.
With THE FLOCK you have a film that is presented as evidence but in that, it’s also a movie that was edited together from multiple sources and as such it’s a film built on sandy, shifty ground, and that’s a hard way to start.
THE FLOCK is the story of two groups of people. It is the story of a cult that has recently formed and which has taken on a fad-ish online interest due to its connection to social media. It’s a cult devoted to a leader no one has met but who is said to have ‘the answers’ and everything they do is in the name of a demon who they worship and believe they can help return to earth and that they will be favored children upon its return. The movie follows one group as they try to find the heart of the cult so they can meet the leader, and the other group is made up of ex-military members who have taken it upon themselves to eliminate the cult and its leader. The movie cuts the footage from both factions together as they launch on a collision course at the ‘compound’ of ‘The Flock’ cult, and its mysterious leader.
The draw of anything about cults is strong. We’re in a time when cults, by different names and with different faces, are stronger than ever. People are desperate to belong and desperate for answers. THE FLOCK is fascinating because it presents this idea and, when it’s done, it offers a really interesting look at its leader. It’s the best part of the film, to be honest. I deeply wish this had been more in line with a film like SACRAMENT which took us inside a cult at the end of its days, and not what we get, which was part action film, part demon worship hocus pocus.
The film starts strong enough, and takes an interesting turn I hadn’t expected, but the way it gets there is awkward and doesn’t make any sense in the movie. We are given a character that wants out of the cult, but who gets reeled back in, then is told not to do certain things lest the demon sees them, yet they WANT the demon to come.
With the military people it feels so forced and hard to swallow.
It’s like they’re from a different movie.
The cult itself is made up of hipsters and scenesters and where this could have been handled in an interesting manner that comments on modern social media fads and trends and how it is so easily embraced by youth culture looking to belong.
What we have is a bit of a jumbled mess with acting that is serviceable, action that feels forced for what the film is, and the message of the film seems lost, just like the cult members themselves.
There’s a tag in the credits, but while it fleshes things out enough to leave a door open for a sequel, I am not sure they earned it.
A mediocre movie with big ideas and poor execution there’s not a lot to offer fans. No sex if you’re looking for that, sloppy violence, and a twist that, while interesting, doesn’t really feel earned.
1.25 out of 5