THE HERETICS (2017) Reviews and overview

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‘Pray they don’t come for you’

The Heretics is a 2017 Canadian supernatural horror feature film co-produced and directed by Chad Archibald (Bite; EjectaThe Drownsman) from a screenplay written by Jayme Laforest (Bite). The movie stars Nina Kiri (The Haunted House on Kirby Road; Let Her Out), Jorja Cadence and Ry Barrett (Zombieworld; Kingdom ComeThe Drownsman).


A notorious cult kidnaps a young girl, and sacrifice themselves by the light of the locust moon. The next morning the girl awakes, caked in dried blood and surrounded by corpses… but safe – or so she thinks.

Years later, the locust moon is about to rise again and the girl is captured once more by a surviving member of the cult. She is taken to a remote cabin where she learns that a demon has been growing inside of her all these years, and before the dawn, it will rise…


“As familiar as the structure of The Heretics is there are still a couple of surprises in the mix to grab your attention early on. Once the main trio of characters in the film have forged their own journeys their energy never lets the film’s moderately paced narrative bog down.” Screen Anarchy

The Heretics is another effort designed to be confined to a core cast, small crew, and intimate setting.  Yet there are enough ancillary characters and open exterior scenes to prop up an appearance of being a bigger production. Genuinely creative work is in play to increase the film’s footprint in spite of inherent limitations.” Culture Crypt

” …a tense, fast moving film that once it gets started, rarely slows down. It takes a mean twist at about the thirty minute mark, and from there on it keeps throwing twists at the audience until it becomes a surprise when the plot goes where you think it will.” Beneath the Underground

“The film is shot very well with Archibald and his team finding good use of lighting and knowing what and who to focus on. It’s also very impressive looking at how much of the film uses practical make-up and effects. Niri’s physical look degrades at a pace that stays within the film’s continuity and gets pretty disturbing to look at.” Flickering Myth

“In The Heretics, stiff performances, clunky dialogue, and painful exposition dumps are in no short supply. Fortunately, the film doesn’t strive to be Hamlet. Archibald does a great job infusing every moment with a bone-chilling sense of dread. You can feel every drop of the blood, sweat, and tears he poured into this project.” Goombastomp

“There were a couple of complaints, one being the soundtrack that at times overpowered some scenes, and a few moments where some scenes moved from one point to another in a confusing fashion. However, in the end, this was one of Chad Archibald’s best movies to date, combining great build up and pace with wonderful acting performances and practical effects.” GCE

” …arguably Chad Archibald’s strongest horror film so far, with a simple yet effective story that combines cult rituals with cabin in the woods supernatural horror. The Heretics also utilizes some of the body horror elements found in Archibald’s previous film Bite, as Gloria is slowly taken over by the demon that is inside her. There are actually some effectively creepy moments in The Heretics and number of well-executed jump scares.” Sean Kelly on Movies

The Heretics offers great body horror as Gloria transforms from something beautiful into something balder and slimier. The acting is compelling, with Barrett offering another solid performance here. Also, there is a blend of Paganism with Catholicism in the film, which slightly muddies the film’s mythos. Still, there are a few frights to be had along the way.” 28 Days Later Analysis


Although initially slow to start, The Heretics throws in a twist that makes it increasingly intense and disturbing. Beautifully shot, with some genuinely unsettling scenes, the film benefits from some gruesome make-up effects and a splendid score by Steph Copeland (I’ll Take Your Dead; Let Her Out; Bite). Although no classic, The Heretics is undoubtedly superior to the average horror outing.

Adrian J Smith, MOV!ES and MAN!A


The Black Fawn Films/Breakthrough Entertainment production had its world premiere at the Canadian Film Fest in Toronto in March 2017. It was released in Canada on November 1st 2017.

In the USA, The Heretics was released on Demand on November 6th 2017 and on DVD on January 5th 2018 via Uncork’d Entertainment.

Main cast:

• Nina Kiri … Gloria
• Ry Barrett … Thomas
• Jorja Cadence … Joan
• Will King … Kent
• Nina Richmond … Ruth
• Austin Duffy … Abaddon
• Sid McMillan … Mr. Vela
• Colin Price … Officer Carter
• Alex Loubert … Home Owner
• Julie C. Sheppard … Therapist
• Caleigh Le Grand … Mary
• Anna Jane Edmonds … Support Group / Cult Member
• Meagan Pringle … Support Group / Cult Member
• Emma Waterfield … Support Group
• Colleen Kelly … Support Group

Filming locations:

• Erin and Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Technical details:

• 87 minutes

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