Welcome to the Circle is a 2017 Canadian horror feature film about a young girl and her father who fall prey to a cult situated deep in the woods.
Written and directed by David Fowler, the Antidote Pictures-High Deaf Productions movie stars Taylor Dianne Robinson (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), Matthew MacCaull (Tomorrowland; Star Trek Beyond), Heather Doerksen (Pacific Rim) and Matt Bellefleur.
A random bear attack during a family camping trip leaves Greg and his young daughter Samantha trapped by a demon-worshipping cult known as The Circle.
Unbeknownst to all is that there’s an infiltrator in the cult’s ranks. She is communication with a former member on the outside named Grady. Grady’s plan is to lead a small group of rescuers into the heart of The Circle. But will they get there in time to save Greg, Samantha, and others from the demon known as Percy Stephens?
“Welcome to the Circle is marred by some clunky storytelling, predominantly in the first half, when it presents itself as unimaginative. But then it takes off into a world of creativity. Another gripe, one that lasts throughout the movie — the sound mixing was pretty bad. Background sound and score should be, you know, in the background, and yet in most scenes it was mixed so loudly that you can barely hear what the characters are saying.” Critical Movie Critics
” …you get the impression that when Fowler wrote the dialogue, he took a leaf out of David Bowie’s songwriting technique in that he clipped a stack of random words out of magazines, threw them in the air and stuck whatever landed down on the script […] It doesn’t help matters that the acting, bar a couple of notable exceptions, is eye-rollingly awful; if ever the horror genre had an equal of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room then this is it.” HNN
” …it introduces characters late into the story, which are important to unlocking the truth and by the end, we are left going through a spoon-feed answers that don’t seem to bring us anything fresh to the story. The acting in the film isn’t the strongest, with most of the cast not getting enough time to make the big impact in the film.” Movie Reviews 101
“Welcome to the Circle has a fascinating idea hidden beneath the layers of constraints and restrictions of an indie horror. The main plot may be unexciting, but the confusing lore hiding in the background kept me watching for more. A flawed film for sure, but not completely without merits.” The Rotting Zombie
” …represents something akin to the experience of being trapped in a cult, with no clue any more of what – beyond all the brainwashing tenets, the hoodwinking perspectives, the gaslighting rituals and mantras – is real anymore. Pitching its camp somewhere between Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s The Endless (2017) and Riley Stearns’ Faults (2014), Fowler’s literal cult movie will leave you bewildered and shell-shocked…” SciFiNow
“Welcome to the Circle really needed another rewrite and/or a co-writer before it was filmed. If you’re looking for something weird and have the patience and/or drugs for it, Welcome to the Circle might be your film. But most viewers will be left wondering what they just saw.” Voices from the Balcony
Welcome to the Circle was released in the USA by Artsploitation Films on October 20th, 2020 (Digital, DVD, Blu-ray). Buy via Amazon.com
Cast and characters:
Taylor Dianne Robinson … Samantha
Matthew MacCaull … Greg
Heather Doerksen … Lotus Cloud
Matt Bellefleur … James
Andrea Brooks … Sky
Cindy Busby … Rebekah
Ben Cotton … Grady
Spencer Drever … Young Grady
Hilary Jardine … Gabriella
Jordana Largy … Tina / Terry
Michael J Rogers … Mathew (as Michael Rogers)
Christian Tessier … Michael