Blessed Ones, The. Has The Concept Not Delivery
Blessed Ones, The. Film Details
Original Title: Polaris
Director: Patrick O’Bell
Writer: Patrick O’Bell
Release Date: Now Available
Release Format: VOD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running Time: 1h 19min
The Blessed Ones shadows a tightly knit cult hiding in a remote desert enclave as they prepare for the impending apocalypse. Two dissenters try to escape through the vast desert wasteland as the cult embarks on a mass suicide pact.
The Blessed Ones had a strong concept with its proposal to highlighting cults as the antagonizing force. A threatening villain is also a component of Patrick O’Bell’s film. Yet, where the production fails is with its definition as an influencing Thriller. There were many precedents where the structure could have matured into a spectacle of engaging quality. Viewers may not perceive the suspense surrounding the protagonists in the story. The story may have had genuine substance but it didn’t convert well to screen.
In terms of originality, The Blessed Ones offered a contrast to the recent films that adopted a similar visual narrative. Cults are in the place of the supernatural external opposition. Its conveys fear because these groups and their principles are real. Most of these films deliver themed content from a first-person perspective. While directors opt for realism the texture of creativity are from the same hoo-hum cloth.
In 2013 Ti West presented his interpretation to this concept. Another example is filmmaker Faith R Johnson’s production. Patrick O’Bell used a conventional film path in his address to this material. With innovation, The Blessed Ones does not have the components to capitalize on the already paved road of a cult-inspired Thriller.
With the performances, I would have to give the spotlight to actor Dave Vescio portrayal of the antagonist, cult leader Elyon. Vescio’s role is weird, but this observation has positive conveyance. Filmmaker Patrick O’Bell noted in our interview (timestamp 66:40) that Vescio’s character takes influence by Marshall Applewhite, the now deceased leader of Heaven’s Gate. Fiction parallels life in The Blessed Ones. In the true-life account, Applewhite too got his devotees to a mass suicide. Thirty-nine members including Applewhite perished.
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Andy Gates contributes to the film with a good performance as the protagonist, Spencer. The role has the backstory of a departed member of Elyon’s religion. Spencer now retreats for his liberation across an inhospitable desert environment.
The Blessed Ones give a straightforward appeal to its visual direction and cinematography. There was nothing extraordinary about the visual narrative and dialogue transactions. The approach this film has is best characterized as coarse and direct.
The Blessed Ones is neither a hit nor a miss but the final opinion will lie with the viewer. While the conception has a reasonable view, the final product, the film itself is not dramatic. There were gaps that needed adjusting to the production. The film would have had a different result if the visual narration had a darker nature. To elaborate, camera angles, color filters, and a tense soundtrack are an infrastructure that can shift perspectives to The Blessed Ones if remade.