Loophole KeyArt

Review: LOOPHOLE (2019)

With its poster and publicity blurb talking about the discovery of the gene responsible for people committing violent acts I was led to expect that Jenni Ivers LOOPHOLE would be something in the vein of MINORITY REPORT, instead it’s a heavy-handed, preachy, faith-based dystopian thriller.

Told in flashback, the story begins with the discovery of the Hamanaro Strand, those who have it are the one who will become violent criminals. This of course leads to mandatory testing and the removal of those with it from society. It’s also part of a conspiracy involving Satan and, of course, the UN.

College student Lexi Smith (Chloe Lukasiak) and her friend Emma (Gabrielle Valladares) are tested. The results are something totally unexpected, the girls have a most unusual genetic profile. In short order they’re caught in a battle between an angel Riley (Deven Bromme) and Asael (Mark Shrader) who works for Satan. It seems there’s a strong need to find the descendants of Judas Iscariot, and guess who is of his bloodline?

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There’s a subplot involving a reporter, Lily, (Jessica Shannon) and her investigation into the conspiracy. It does occasionally build some suspense. But mostly it serves as a way to dump exposition on the screen in a less than creative way.

THE DA VINCI CODE and its sequels have proven you can make a religion based thriller without constantly preaching at your audience. Just as countless horror films have centred around religions of all kinds without proselytizing. LOOPHOLE, however, is a cinematic sermon that constantly beats the viewer over the head with its messages.

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And that’s the biggest problem LOOPHOLE has for me. It could have worked as something in the style of THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS if it had dialed back on the preaching. Granted, the whole evil UN thing has been beaten to death by right-wing blogs, claiming it really is intent on world domination. However, done right, it still could be pulled off. Unfortunately, LOOPHOLE is more interested in preaching to the choir than reaching a general audience.

If I may offer some advice to faith-based filmmakers and those releasing their films, don’t hide what they are. You may end up getting more people to look at your film, but they’re not going to be happy when they see it. Call it what it is and market it to the audience that wants to see it.

LOOPHOLE will premier on VOD January 8, 2019 from High Octane Pictures.

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