It is that time of year where the theatres are filled with movies made to make you scream and lose sleep at night. No matter how much time passes there never seems to be a shortage in horror films. If you are looking to get into the holiday spirit but to afraid to commit to a full on fright fest than Freestyle Releasing & The Orchard have a perfect film for you.
Just in time for Halloween, MISSIONARY, starring Dawn Olivieri, Mitch Ryan and Kip Pardue will open theatrically on October 31, 2014, in 10 major U.S. markets, followed by a digital release via The Orchard’s digital retail network. The film is a good old fashion thriller that will keep you at the edge of your seats.
Dawn Olivieri plays Katherine a struggling, recently separated mom who is just trying to get by all while creating a better life for her 12 year-old son Kesley (Connor Christie). She is a hard worker who puts helping her son adjust in the forefront while leaving her loneliness on the back-burner. While trying to help Kesley prepare for tryout’s for the football team two LDS (The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints) members ride up on their bicycles offering to share the lords message. Katherine politely tries to explain they are not interested and the two begin to walk away, when Kesley throws the ball to his mom and Elder Brock (Mitch Ryan) is the one on the receiving end instead of his mom. After seeing Kesley’s face light up when Elder Brock runs a drill with him she asks if the two have time to help get her son ready for try-outs. The missionaries explain that this isn’t really allowed but they decide to make an exception hoping to recruit the family into the church.
What starts as an innocent game of catch turns into a torrid love affair. Elder Brock is quickly enthralled by Katherine, doing everything he can to get away from his mission to spend time alone time with her. The two share stories and secrets about their troubled pasts and Katherine begins to enjoy her time with him as an escape from her real life. Soon Katherine’s estranged husband returns and they decide to try to make things work and move past their problems for the sake of their son. Elder Brock sees things a bit differently, he is determined that Katherine and Kesley are his “Celestial Family”, and has a hard time accepting that things are over and will stop at nothing to prove that they are meant to be a family.
Directed by Anthony DiBlasi, who strayed from his horror roots, and penned by Bruce Wood and Scott Poiley MISSIONARY has all the ingredients of a well-made psychological thriller. Dawn Olivieri and Kip Pardue give stellar performances but it is Mitch Ryan who steals the show. Starting off as a clean-cut missionary who’s life is full of structure and scripture and transitions into a monster full of fury, Ryan shows versatility and talent. DiBlasi was able to bring characters to life that were not only relatable but that you were quickly invested in, and used a rural setting to ground the film and to help show the characters struggles. The film also carefully touches on the many problems faced when dealing with a stalker, including the usually ineffective restraining order. While the Mormon faith was used in the film, it was not a film about the Mormon faith or in any way shaming it, which was refreshing. It could have easily been any faith at all that the character turned to, to mask his confusion, hurt and anger. MISSIONARY is a psychological thriller, where the tension builds slowly, keeps you at the edge of your seat and delivers a satisfying ending.
You can check out the trailer here: