I watched this one very late last night and was genuinely disturbed by it. This is one of the most twisted films I have ever seen.
Rev. Simon Leach is a conniving, sociopathic con man who is recruiting a bunch of lost young people for a cult that he is forming.
He is sympathetic, sincere, kind, and charismatic - but one thing that is evident from the start is that the whole thing is an act.
He intends to gain the trust of these people so that he can destroy them, one by one, for no other purpose than his own amusement.
His compound is located in the remote Mexican desert, where the outside world cannot intervene. One of his recruits is a young woman
named Ellen who is trying to find out the truth about her own sister's death, who had followed Leach a few years earlier.
As the movie progresses, Simon gains the trust of his converts, encouraging them to share their deepest secrets and fears. Then he begins
to break them down and seduce them, destroying their personal defenses and boundaries. Finally, he encourages them to begin making their
"transitions" to paradise. The first victim willingly poisons himself in front of the rest. Then, one by one, the others either kill themselves
or allow their fellow cultists to murder them. The killings are incredibly brutal. Two out of the twelve try to flee; one is hunted down and butchered;
the other makes his getaway, triggering the final killing spree that wipes out everyone.
What makes this film so horrifying is first, how plausible it is - such things can and do happen.
Secondly, Simon's running commentary to the camera as to why he is doing this and how much fun he is having in the process is chilling. This is one
of the best portrayals of a pure psychopath I have ever seen. He is going to take these young people who love and trust him, and utterly break their
will, then kill them all - for no other purpose than his own twisted amusement.
I won't lie; this one kept me up last night.