Blu-ray Review: THE BELIEVERS

THE BELIEVERS is based on the novel “The Religion” by Nicholas Conde. The movie was directed by John Schlesinger from a screenplay Mark Frost and stars Martin Sheen, Helen Shaver, Harley Cross, Jimmy Smits, Malick Bowens,Harris Yulin, Richard Masur, Elizabeth Wilson and Robert Loggia.

Following the tragic death of his wife, psychologist Cal Jamison (Martin Sheen) and his young son Chris (Harley Cross) relocate from Minneapolis to New York City to start a new life. Enlisted by Lt. McTaggert (Robert Loggia) to help solve a baffling suicide case involving voodoo, Cal soon finds himself in the middle of an investigation with ties to a Caribbean religious cult and a series of ritualistic murders that will place him and those he loves in grave danger.

This 1987 supernatural thriller follows Cal Jameson and his son Chris who move to New York City after the tragic death of his wife. Cal is working as a therapist for Lt. McTaggert and the NYPD. Cal ends up meeting Jessica Halliday (Helen Shaver), the building super and the two of them hit it off and become an item. His job starts to get a lot more stressful after he meets Tom Lopez (Jimmy Smits), a mysterious man who might be linked to this cult-like murder and his paranoia has driven him to hysterics.

What happens is, Tom Lopez is trying to warn Cal that he and his son are in mortal danger but the big question is, why? As the movie plays out, the mystery of what’s actually going down is slowly revealed and the people closest to Cal also come in harms way. Both Lt. McTaggert and Jessica become targets of the sinister figure who’s behind what’s actually happening. It’s all linked to a secret society that uses voodoo to do its evil bidding and some of the people closest to Cal belong to this cult and they’re looking for a sacrifice.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and specs. The Blu-ray disc features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Believers ended up being another first time watch for me and I enjoyed it except for its long run time. The movie is a slow burn that has different gears because it starts off with a horrific shocker (no pun intended) and then it goes into cop-thriller mode because the main character is trying to figure out what’s up with a key suspect and finally it blasts into full blown supernatural creeper mode when all is finally revealed. The Believers is able to keep its secret well and that’s a rarity when it comes to these kind of movies because something is usually given away or leaked during the watch. I thought the cast did a great job with their characters (a little over acting by Sheen in a few scenes) and John Schlesinger did a good job telling the story and bringing it to life on screen. This is more of a grounded supernatural thriller so don’t expect any kind of special effects or anything like that. Instead, it keeps the viewer in suspense and offers up creepy voodoo rituals and sacrifices that give the movie an unsettling nightmarish vibe at times. The Believers was first released theatrically by Orion Pictures back in 1987 and will be available on Blu-ray on June 25th.

Distributor: Olive Films

Run Time: 114 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The only extra on the Blu-ray is the trailer (01:96). I wish we could’ve gotten some new interviews with some of the cast and crew for this one.

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