Missionary Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by Poiley Wood Entertainment
Directed by Anthony DiBlasi
Written by Bruce Wood, Scott Poiley
2012, 90 minutes, Not yet Rated
Dawn Olivieri as Katherine Kingsmen
Mitch Ryan as Kevin Brock
Kip Pardue as Ian Kingsmen
J. LaRose as Sarge Powell
“Do you have a moment to talk about Christ?” No, but you can teach my kid how to play American Football. When a yummy mummy lets two Mormon preachers onto her property to show her son the finer points of football, she sets into motion a chain of events which will irrevocably change the lives of everybody involved. They say that love changes people – well, it doesn't take long for Missionary Man to start boiling bunnies (not literally) and chopping off heads (literally).
Since Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, there's been a wave of interest in Mormonism. Missionary rides that wave in being the first Mormon psycho movie I've ever seen. I'm not sure it does the faith any favours, but it's not particularly offensive either – Kevin's Mormon mates are painted in a fairly sympathetic light throughout, even if they do seem somewhat dim.With their clean white shirts, clipped ties and eerily cheerful disposition, there is something undeniably creepy about the men of Mormon. As they walk spookily onto Katherine's property, I had envisioned a terrifying religious version of Funny Games. But Missionary is not that movie.
For a very long time, I was questioning whether it was even a horror film at all. Had someone made a terrible mistake somewhere along the line and sent me – shudders – a romantic drama for review instead? Thankfully not, although you do have to suffer through a lot of romantic drama to get to the horror stuff. Even worse, it's not particularly interesting. It's hard to like anyone, as we see Katherine play Kevin for a fool and him lie to his colleagues and shrug away his beloved religion in order to lay a little pipe. Katherine's estranged husband is worst of all – a dull thug who exists only as a reason for Kevin to turn psychopath. But when he does, it's really worth the wait. Mean and taut from there onwards, it'd make a fine addition to the retro subgenre of 'professional man turns serial killer' films – the maniac cop of Maniac Cop, the Charlie Sheen fireman of Under Pressure or the John Locke (shut up, parenting is a full time job) of Stepfather. Mitch Ryan is very good as Kevin, bringing some believable muscle and intensity to the role. Everyone else does fine, although the characterisation makes it hard to root for anyone (Katherine's cool ex-cop, gun-packing boss aside). Where a lesser film would have descended into outright ridiculousness, Missionary manages to stay on point to the end, culminating in a vicious showdown with some pretty nifty moves on Kevin's part. It's a lesser film than director DiBlasi's Clive Barker adaptation Dread, but is worth seeing, all the same.
Missionary is to horror films as the missionary position is to sex – not terribly exciting, but it does the job.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.