A worthy example of low-budget genre filmmaking, Christopher MacBride’s The Conspiracy does more with a found-footage conceit than any horror movie since The Blair Witch Project.
A pair of Toronto-based documentarians (Aaron Poole and James Gilbert) come into contact with an unkempt conspiracy theorist (Alan Peterson), who rants unendingly about the shadowy machinations of a New World Order; after he disappears, the filmmakers find themselves infected by a similar strain of paranoia and take up his cause.
The film’s faux-documentary textures aren’t quite flawless – the dialogue is stilted and there are a lot of recognizable Canadian actors on hand in bit parts – but the integration of real-world news footage and archival material into the narrative creates a sense of credible menace.
And, unlike other horror directors working with considerably greater resources, MacBride sticks his landing. The long closing sequence, which combines an irresistible piece of high-tech gimmickry with loving allusions to a host of classic thrillers, is eerily effective, while the carefully prepared coda gives this underdog a satirical bite.