Dedicated to the proposition that even paranoids can have real enemies, “The Conspiracy” is a modesty suspenseful faux documentary that asks us to consider whether street-corner ranters who issue dire warnings might actually be on to something. Filmmaker Christopher MacBride makes the most of an obviously limited budget while constructing a provocative drama about documentarians who keep digging after their subject, an obsessed conspiracy theorist, inexplicably disappears. Pic could find receptive auds on home-screen platforms.Two documakers (Aaron Poole, Jim Gilbert) are fascinated by Terrance (Alan Peterson), a zealot who’s highly skeptical of “official” explanations, and claims that society is controlled by a secret cadre of string pullers. When he vanishes, the filmmakers continue to probe, questioning other obsessed skeptics — including a few real-life conspiracy buffs cast as themselves — while connecting the dots to the Tarsus Club, a cabal that surreptitiously causes “very real and tangible shifts” in global governmental and monetary policies. Things take a borderline-silly turn at a hush-hush Tarsus gathering that resembles a witches’ coven, but this intriguing picture fortunately stops short of going over the top.
A Chance Investments production in association with Resolute Films and Entertainment, Dreampool Picture Corp. and Agency 71 Prods. Produced by Lee Kim. Executive producers, Aaron Poole, Jim Gilbert, Murray Chance, William Jensen. Directed, written by Christopher MacBride.
Camera (color), Ian Anderson; editors, Adam Locke-Norton, MacBride; music, Darren Baker; production designer, Brian Garvey; art director, Jeannette Nguyen; costume designer, Megan Oppenheimer; sound, Brian Garvey; assistant directors, Matthew Gorman, Dale MacLean. Reviewed online, Houston, Oct. 13, 2012. (In Fantastic Fest.) Running time: 85 MIN.
Aaron Poole, Jim Gilbert, Alan Peterson, Laura DeCarteret .