THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE **** USA 2015 86 mins Dir: Chris Sparling.

A restrained approach enhances the impact of the few moments of overt horror in this well acted, sombre solo directing debut for Chris Sparling, the screenwriter of the outstanding BURIED. The Atticus Institute was founded to study telekinesis and other psi-related phenomenon in the early 70’s by William Mapother before being shut down in mysterious circumstances by the U.S. government. The familiar faux-documentary format
a la LAKE MUNGO intertwines credibly crafted talking-head interview footage with convincing archive footage from the 70’s shedding light on the horrifying events that unfolded. One particular subject, vividly played by Rya Kihlstedt, causes the facility to come under government scrutiny when she displays astonishing behaviour in line with demonic possession. Capturing an authenticity in its interviews and “documentary” footage that few found footage horrors manage, this has the insidiously creepy and paranoid feel of a strong early X FILES episode and some proficient scares, including a harrowing session of “hyper spectral photography.”

Review by Steven West

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