When they’re done right, faux documentaries can be great. The sense of realism that comes from having talking-head interviews and voice over commentary can add some much needed gravitas to low-budget independent film (take, for instance, Lake Mungo), and is often a good way of spinning the tired “found footage” genre into something fresh that still has a sense of urgency. The Conspiracy is one such film that gets these elements right.
When filmmakers Aaron and Jim begin interviewing conspiracy theorist, Terence, who spends his days on street corners yelling at people with a megaphone, they’re introduced to the idea of a massive global conspiracy. At first thinking Terence is an interesting subject for their film but likely mentally ill, the filmmakers begin to pursue some of his theories once Terence disappears without any trace. What they find leads them down a paranoia-filled rabbit hole, where a pretty plausible global conspiracy is linked to a secret society pulling the world’s strings. Compelled by curiosity, Aaron and Jim seek out the elusive Tarsus Club, bringing hidden cameras with them.
The Conspiracy was a pretty great film up until the very end, which was still good but lost a little momentum for me. I still give it a solid rating, because despite any criticisms this was a fresh feeling film that took real conspiracies and wove them into a compelling narrative. I definitely recommend checking it out.