New To Blu: The Atticus Institute

"From a Producer of The Conjuring", what could go wrong? In fact, not much. 

"Do you know how annoying it is
to be called 'oh, it's that guy'
all the time?"
The only case of demonic possession recognized by the U.S. government? Sounds good to me. Bring it! I'm down for some Satan today. 

The modern possession craze continues with this week's direct to video release of The Atticus Institute. Built on a mostly no name cast and the always excellent William Mapother, it's a short but entertaining feature that horror fans just might enjoy. It's nowhere near the quality of The Taking of Deborah Logan or other current genre films, but has just enough originality to possibly maintain the interest of its core audience. The Atticus Institute doesn't set the bar very high but does succeed in a few genuine scares, a creepy tone, and some excellent looking '70s era set design. 

Set against the backdrop of a military testing facility, the common tale of demonic takeover is relocated to a much different setting. Through the eyes of fictional military personnel and medical staffers, the tale of Judith Winstead is rolled out over an extremely short run time of 83 minutes. In the instance of The Atticus Institute, less is definitely more. With the limited script, the length fits perfectly, allowing the director to not overstay his welcome. 

Stemming from the modern found footage trend, The Atticus Institute mixes it up and uses a documentary style to tell its eerie tale of possession and warfare. It blends found footage with fictional interviews to tell the story of its demonic subject, Judith Winstead.While the film isn't going to win any awards for breaking new ground, it's a fair to middling effort that puts its best foot forward with a really good looking low budget feature that has no big name actor cred whatsoever. 

"No!!!! I refuse to eat meat!!!!"
As a sophomore effort from director, Chris Sparling, The Atticus Institute has some qualities that may satisfy modern horror junkies. Blending common themes from past films like The Exorcist with social commentary on man's need to control and weaponize works from a refreshing standpoint that may or may not resonate with all horror fans. As a whole, this movie isn't going to win any awards. Yet,  it's still a mildly entertaining entry that starts off the year with just enough violence and a tonal quality that is different enough from its genre counterparts.

If you're a horror buff, check it out. I think you might like it.