THE RIGHTEOUS is a horror mystery that works like a charm. A simple story that truly gets under your skin. Shot in black and white which is utilized in all the right ways. Screened at Fantasia. Read our full The Righteous movie review here!
THE RIGHTEOUS is a new horror mystery with a small (but familiar) cast and a very simple story. It works almost as a cautionary tale in the form of a dark fairytale. Much of this movie is literally good old storytelling where one character is telling their story to another.
Personally, I found myself completely mesmerized during these scenes. The black and white images served to facilitate the story without distracting. An extremely impressive writer-director feature film debut that had its world premiere at Fantasia where we screened it.
Continue reading our The Righteous movie review below.
Crime and punishment
Overall, the main plot of The Righteous has to do with crime and punishment. Not the kind of crime that necessarily lands you in jail. More crimes that result in bad karma. Or just being a bad person in general. And sure, you may get away with a lot, but once things start to go bad, you’ll surely wonder if you’ve brought it on yourself.
Hint: Yeah, you probably did!
And then, of course, there are those who are punished without ever having done anything wrong. The Righteous also touches on this. Much of it also has to do with God and the Devil. Or faith, in general, as well as lack thereof or losing it.
Of course, the thing that creates a perfect trifecta, when you begin with crime and punishment, is revenge. And this movie also has quite the revenge plot!
The intensity of a small cast
I often find myself loving movies with a small cast. Don’t get me wrong, I love the big ensemble movies as well, but with a small and focused story, you don’t need more than a few good actors to tell the story.
For The Righteous, the two main characters are portrayed by Henry Czerny (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Ready or Not) and Mark O’Brien (The Dark Stranger, Ready or Not). Both are actors I have always loved in everything I’ve ever seen them in. Still, this movie will be my new benchmark for both.
Henry Czerny is Frederic Mason, who is feeling like God is punishing him. And he may have good reason to think so. Mark O’Brien plays the mysterious stranger with the very anonymous-sounding name Aaron Smith. O’Brien is perfect at balancing between being a kind, polite young man and someone who comes across as downright sinister.
In supporting roles, we have some equally impressive performances. Mimi Kuzyk (The Strain) is extremely strong as Ethel Mason, Frederic’s wife. Also, Kate Corbett (It: Part 2) portrays the younger woman Doris who is on the verge of falling apart. I won’t say more about either since you need to watch this story unfold for yourself.
Do not miss out on The Righteous
The Righteous was written and directed by Mark O’Brien who also co-stars in the movie as the mysterious stranger. The heartbreaking darkness he brings to his character is equally focused in the screenplay and directing.
This is the feature film debut for Mark O’Brien as both writer and director, having done both short films and a series in both capacities earlier. I hope this is just the beginning of his career as a writer and director. If The Righteous is any indication of what he can do (and I believe it is) then genre fans have a lot to look forward to.
The actors deliver brilliantly intense and natural performances, the story is sharp and fascinating and the visuals are simply brilliant. You do not want to miss out on this horror mystery, so make sure you check it out whenever you get the chance.
THE RIGHTEOUS had its world premiere at Fantasia 2021, where we screened it.
DIRECTOR: Mark O’Brien
WRITER: Mark O’Brien
CAST: Henry Czerny, Mimi Kuzyk, Mark O’Brien, Kate Corbett
A burdened man feels the wrath of a vengeful God after he and his wife are visited by a mysterious stranger.