You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Follow the Prophet

Bleep a few profanities and trim the fleeting nudity, and "Follow the Prophet" would pass muster as an above-average Lifetime made-for-cabler.

Bleep a few profanities and trim the fleeting nudity, and “Follow the Prophet” would pass muster as an above-average Lifetime made-for-cabler. Destined for VOD and homevid consumption after brief theatrical play, this indie drama might well attract viewers with its high-concept, if stomach turning, scenario (loosely based on stranger-than-fiction real-life events) about an attempted escape from a Utah-based cult that promotes ritualistic underage marriages, demands total fealty to an authoritative Prophet — and gives a man license to have sex with his offspring.

With: Robert Chimento, Diane Venora, Annie Burgstede, John Diehl, Tom Noonan, David Conrad, R.D. Call, Steve Railsback.

Newcomer Annie Burgstede stars as Avery Colden, the spirited 16-year-old daughter of a cult-faithful family who runs away from home before she can be deflowered by her father (David Conrad of TV’s “The Ghost Whisperer”) or bequeathed as another child bride to the cult’s charismatic and politically well-connected Prophet (Tom Noonan). On the run, Avery fortuitously connects with a protector — Lt. Col. Jude Marks (scripter Robert Chimento) — who’s recovering from the recent loss of his own daughter, a solider killed while serving in Afghanistan.

Helmer Drew Ann Rosenberg generates mild suspense as Avery and Jude — and a local cop (Diane Venora) with her own grudge against the Prophet — try to draw public attention to the cult’s abuses. And while some viewers may feel the pic overall is a tad too timid, Rosenberg’s tasteful restraint is a major plus during potentially icky scenes that place Avery in jeopardy.

Performances are for the most part more earnestly effective than emotionally compelling. But Conrad stands out as a perversely fascinating wildcard: By shrewdly underplaying rather than underscoring the obvious, he makes his self-justifying cultist all the more skin-crawlingly creepy.

Despite obviously budgetary limitations, pic is efficiently crafted.

Follow the Prophet

Production: A Red Roads Prods. release of a Red Road production in association with Bernard/Scura Prods. Produced by Paul Bernard, James Scura, Dave Cory, Joan Sweeny. Executive producers, Ralph Cioffi, Susan Jackson, Jay Wilson. Co-producer, Walt Lloyd. Directed by Drew Ann Rosenberg. Screenplay, Robert Chimento.

Crew: Camera (color), Walt Lloyd; editor, Dennis O'Connor; music, Jussi Tegelman; production designer, Gregory McMickle; art director, Stephen Frankland; set decorator, Jenelle Giordano; costume designer, Nicole Capasso; sound, Eric Goldstein, Jesse Nordhausen; associate producer, Michael Jones; assistant director, Paul Bernard; casting, Jean Scoccimarro, Lana Veenker. Reviewed on DVD, Houston, April 28, 2010. (In WorldFest/Houston Film Festival.) Running time: 90 MIN.

More Film

  • minnie Mouse Hollywood Walk of Fame

    Minnie Mouse, Iconic Toon, Finally Gets a Star of Her Own

    Bleep a few profanities and trim the fleeting nudity, and “Follow the Prophet” would pass muster as an above-average Lifetime made-for-cabler. Destined for VOD and homevid consumption after brief theatrical play, this indie drama might well attract viewers with its high-concept, if stomach turning, scenario (loosely based on stranger-than-fiction real-life events) about an attempted escape […]

  • Mother

    Razzies: Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Cruise, Emma Watson Among 2018 Nominees

    Bleep a few profanities and trim the fleeting nudity, and “Follow the Prophet” would pass muster as an above-average Lifetime made-for-cabler. Destined for VOD and homevid consumption after brief theatrical play, this indie drama might well attract viewers with its high-concept, if stomach turning, scenario (loosely based on stranger-than-fiction real-life events) about an attempted escape […]

  • Search

    Sundance: John Cho's 'Search' Sells to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions

    Bleep a few profanities and trim the fleeting nudity, and “Follow the Prophet” would pass muster as an above-average Lifetime made-for-cabler. Destined for VOD and homevid consumption after brief theatrical play, this indie drama might well attract viewers with its high-concept, if stomach turning, scenario (loosely based on stranger-than-fiction real-life events) about an attempted escape […]

  • 'Norm of the North': Sequel Unites

    Lionsgate's 'Norm of the North' Headed for Sequel With India's Assemblage Entertainment

    Bleep a few profanities and trim the fleeting nudity, and “Follow the Prophet” would pass muster as an above-average Lifetime made-for-cabler. Destined for VOD and homevid consumption after brief theatrical play, this indie drama might well attract viewers with its high-concept, if stomach turning, scenario (loosely based on stranger-than-fiction real-life events) about an attempted escape […]

  • International Documentary Association IDA logo

    International Documentary Association Gives Grants to 13 Films

    Bleep a few profanities and trim the fleeting nudity, and “Follow the Prophet” would pass muster as an above-average Lifetime made-for-cabler. Destined for VOD and homevid consumption after brief theatrical play, this indie drama might well attract viewers with its high-concept, if stomach turning, scenario (loosely based on stranger-than-fiction real-life events) about an attempted escape […]

  • ‘Eva,’ ‘La Ch’tite Famille,’ ‘Non-Fiction’ 2018

    ‘Eva,’ ‘La Ch’tite Famille,’ ‘Non-Fiction’ Standouts at the 2018 UniFrance Rendez-Vous in Paris

    Bleep a few profanities and trim the fleeting nudity, and “Follow the Prophet” would pass muster as an above-average Lifetime made-for-cabler. Destined for VOD and homevid consumption after brief theatrical play, this indie drama might well attract viewers with its high-concept, if stomach turning, scenario (loosely based on stranger-than-fiction real-life events) about an attempted escape […]

  • Robin Sykes's 'In The Game' Wins

    Robin Sykes' 'In the Game' Wins Prizes at Alpe d'Huez Comedy Film Festival

    Bleep a few profanities and trim the fleeting nudity, and “Follow the Prophet” would pass muster as an above-average Lifetime made-for-cabler. Destined for VOD and homevid consumption after brief theatrical play, this indie drama might well attract viewers with its high-concept, if stomach turning, scenario (loosely based on stranger-than-fiction real-life events) about an attempted escape […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content