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Review: THE TRUTH WILL OUT (2020)

Jessica Hunt and Sam Mason-Bell, the team responsible for Lonely Hearts, are back with another look at the darker side of reality TV. This time it’s the sensationalized pseudo-documentary shows that are in the crosshairs. Does The Truth Will Out have the same effect that their previous film did?

A card at the beginning of The Truth Will Out informs us that the footage we are about to see is the only record of what occurred when the crew of Hard Streets UK went to interview the Braussau family. So we are firmly in found footage territory.

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Opening with the car ride to the Brassau residence we get our introduction to the show’s crew. The show’s host Thomas Laboss (Kevin Cordell, Conspiracy X) and sound and camera guys Darren (Jackson Batchelor, Toxic Schlock) and Stanley (Sam Mason-Bell, Millennial Killer). As they talk among themselves, we learn quite a bit about them. We also learn that the Brassaus are gypsies, and they claim to be witches.

Diana (Suki Jones, Maniacal) and her two daughters, Kate (Jessica Hunt, Depp Web XXX) and Phoebe (Kayla Charlton) are nervous at first. But they’re soon put at ease by Thomas and open up about their practices and beliefs. They open up a bit too much, as Thomas takes advantage that night.

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Expecting this, Darren and Stanley hid a camera in his room, intending to get blackmail material to use against him. But Diana and Kate find out as well. And they don’t just claim to be witches.

The Truth Will Out is another rather slow burn. While still effective, it doesn’t work as well as it did in the duo’s last film. Probably because it revolved around a rising threat to a group of characters, at least some of whom are likeable. Here we have a bunch of obnoxious assholes who finally go too far and then face retribution.

Thomas is fairly obviously based on Jeremy Clarkson, and he’s every bit as detestable and slimy. As are his crew in a slightly different way. So you don’t feel for them, and obviously, you’re not meant to. But for most of The Truth Will Out, their behaviour doesn’t give the sense of dread needed to build tension either. They come off as a bunch of jerks and backstabbers, not a threat.

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Once things go too far, seeing the women get retribution is satisfying, but not as satisfying as it would have been with a better build-up. Also, The Truth Will Out is a lot tamer in its depiction of its nastiness, so there’s not the same visceral response there was to the events of Lonely Hearts.

Worth seeing, but lacking the punch I was hoping it would carry, The Truth Will Out is currently playing festivals. You can find out more on the film’s Facebook page.

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