Thursday Movie Picks: Cults/Secret Societies.

A topic that has always fascinated me is the idea that a group of people can be seduced by a charismatic leader or leaders to an extent where they disregard absolutely everything they know and fully believe what the leaders claim to be true. Of course, this sort of self sacrifice to that kind of lifestyle is a perfect opportunity for on goings that may only be seen in the realms of a horror film. So I was delighted to discover that Wandering Through the Shelve‘s weekly theme was Cults and Secret Societies. Here’s my 3 picks and a couple of notable mentions:

  1. The Wicker Man (1973) A British classic. Robin Hardy’s folklore tale sees Police Sergeant Howie, a strong Christian, travel to a Scottish island on a missing person’s case. Whilst there he uncovers the truth about the residents of the isalnd: they’re all part of a twisted, sadistic pagan cult. Terrific performances all round, especially from the entrancing leader played by Christopher Lee, The Wicker Man is both fascinating and haunting and definitely worth a place on this list.


    Image from here

  2.  Sound of my Voice (2011) This psycholgical thriller follows Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius) as they attempt to uncover a cult leader (Brit Marling) who claims to have come from a war-stricken future. But when one of them begins falling under the leader’s spell, will the other be able to finish what they started? A smart and dark psychological thriller that is definitely one to watch.

    sound of my voice.jpg

    Image from here

  3. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) After watching the two above, you’ll need something with a blend of comedy and action to set you right. Kingsman follows Eggsy (Taron Egerton) who is drafted to join a sect of secret soldiers fighting for Her Majesty. Amazing performances from Egerton and Colin Firth and a really fun plot.


That’s my three main picks but some more spooky, notable mentions that couldn’t go unsaid:

  • Rosemary’s Baby
  • Suspiria
  • Kill List



15 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Cults/Secret Societies.

    • actualandrew says:

      I wasn’t sure whether to include it at first. And then when I posted it I had some more doubts but I’m glad I’m not the only one who think it works! And yeah The Wicker Man is terrifying to me. Really eerie and unsettling!


  1. Joel says:

    This is the second mention I’ve seen today for Sound of my Voice which up until now was unknown to me, I’ll have to check it out.

    Wicker Man looks to be the title of the week and this version is an odd, intriguing spooky film. I’ve heard the remake is a total mess.

    I was enjoying Kingsman, I love Colin Firth, and then they went to the church and I went from liking it to revulsion and never went back. Still it fits here very well.

    I did a mix of cults and secret societies for my picks this week:

    12 Monkeys (1995)-In the future a deadly virus has wiped out most of mankind forcing those who remain to formulate a society underground while animals roam free on the desolate surface. James Cole (Bruce Willis), one of the workers in the underground world, has been selected by the ruling body to travel back in time and try to stop the secret society of the Twelve Monkeys who are believed to have instigated the plague. After a few misplacements in time he arrives in the present day and tries to find answers all the time pursued by people who think he’s insane. Potent, grim and fascinating with a completely unhinged performance by Brad Pitt that landed him an Oscar nomination.

    Ticket to Heaven (1981)-Reeling at the end of a long-time relationship with his girlfriend a young man (Nick Mancuso) seeking a change unwittingly falls in with a cult and is soon brainwashed and isolated. His best friend goes to great lengths to rescue him from their clutches and assist in his deprogramming but the cult does not let go easily. Intense, brutal low budget Canadian drama is loaded with now familiar faces including Kim Cattrall, Meg Foster and Saul Rubinek.

    The Brotherhood of the Bell (1970)-For the last 20 plus years a successful college professor (Glenn Ford) has belonged to a secret Ivy League society, The Brotherhood of the Bell, without being asked to actively participate in its inner workings. At the latest initiation a request is made of him with which he is leery to comply but does so against his better judgment leading to tragedy. Disgusted he attempts to exit the group but only as his life is systemically destroyed does he come to realize how insidious and far reaching the power of The Bell is. Premiered on television in the US but shown theatrically abroad.


  2. Myerla says:

    Kill List! That ending! I’m now wishing I had that as one of my main picks but i completely forgot about it. Like your picks, seen all three of them. I almost put in Sound of my Voice but went for MMMM instead,


  3. Wendell says:

    The original TWM is great. The remake, well, you know. Kingsman is an inspired choice. Love it. Haven’t seen your other pick. Also love Rosemary’s Baby, but Kill List didn’t quite work for me.


  4. allendemir says:

    Such a great performance by Lee. It’s odd that more people seemed to know him for the Dracula role, despite the few lines he had.


  5. Katie says:

    Still not see Kingsman….

    But I did also pick Sound of My Voice and The Wicker Man. These seem to popular this week. I find the idea of TWM terrifying and the last scene just says it all. SOMV I wasn’t keen on. I was expecting something more to it.


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