In the wake of Martha Marcy May Marlene, Fox Searchlight releases another gimmicky independent drama about a cult, this one with sci-fi overtones and a Los Angeles setting. A romantic couple, aspiring to make a documentary together, infiltrate a mysterious group whose young leader (Brit Marling of Another Earth) claims to come from the future. Before the movie devolves into a simple game of is-she-or-isn't-she, it's intriguing and often creepy; first-time director Zal Batmanglij gets strong effects from the banal locations, the mood enhanced by Patrick Giraudi's finely honed sound design and Tamara Meem's deliberately off-rhythm editing. This plays like an early George Romero shocker but without Romero's humor or social commentary.
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