Films & Schedules

  • Acolytes

  • Jon Hewitt

91 minutes

Production Company:
Stewart and Wall Entertainment
Executive Producer:
Grant Bradley, Gary Hamilton, Ian Gibbins
Penny Wall, Richard Stewart
S.P. Krause, Shayne Armstrong, Jon Hewitt
Production Designer:
Michelle Sotheren
Mark Pugh
Simon Martin
Robert Sullivan, Kearon de Clouet
David Franzke
Principal Cast: Joel Edgerton, Michael Dorman, Sebastian Gregory, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence, Joshua Payne

International Sales Agent:
Arclight Films

Monday September 0811:59PM RYERSON Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Wednesday September 1006:45PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 1 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1212:15PM VARSITY 6 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Always playing in the darker corners of genre cinema, Jon Hewitt has made his most accomplished feature to date with Acolytes.

Following the disappearance of a young female classmate, shy high-schooler Mark (Sebastian Gregory) stumbles upon a fresh grave in the woods of his peaceful suburb, and spies an SUV driving away from the scene.

With the help of two friends – James (Joshua Payne) and his girlfriend Chasely (Hanna Mangan-Lawrence) – Mark decides to return to the scene to dig up what they imagine is simply someone's dead pet. Their bit of fun turns perilous, however, when they unearth the body of a Canadian backpacker. They embark upon a hunt for the identity of the killer, and James soon realizes that their grim discovery could help them exact revenge upon Gary Parker, a brutal bully who had robbed them of their innocence years before and was recently released from prison.

In the proud tradition of Aussie horror films (illustrated in this year's Not Quite Hollywood), Acolytes quickly turns into a sinister tale of deception and betrayal. The three teens find themselves in over their heads, trying to outwit a serial killer as he turns the tables on them and lures them into his violent world. 

Hewitt's initial depiction of the tranquil comfort zone of the suburbs slowly mutates, building a tense atmosphere upon the revelation that the teens' homogeneous community is really a minefield of dark secrets. Conveying a genuine freshness, the performances from Hewitt's young stars are impressive, bringing to life believable characters poised on the brink of adulthood.

Acolytes is a tight and chilling thriller where the delicate and evocative beauty of the Australian landscape – rendered in sweeping CinemaScope – is betrayed by the horrors beneath its surface.

Colin Geddes

Jon Hewitt is an Australian filmmaker. He has written and directed the features Bloodlust (92, co-director), Redbull (99), Darklovestory (06) and Acolytes (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award