Missionary starts deliberately slow and takes it’s time to build up the tension between the protagonists. Also, probably for the first time in movie history, the Mormons aren’t portrayed as stupid and one-dimensional joke targets. On the contrary, we get a nice glimpse into the normal life of the “Latter Day Saints” and learn a little bit about their work ethics and beliefs. So when Brock finally snaps in the second half, this has nothing to do with the church; rather, it is founded in his personal past.
Katherine’s character is also astonishingly deep and believable. Torn between the two men, she chooses what’s best for her son, not realizing how far over the edge Brock already is at this point of the story.
Director Anthony DiBlasi (see my review of Last Shift) again proofs his ability to get the best out of his actors, leaves them enough room to create their characters, and avoids the style-over-substance approach many B-movie directors prefer. When the shit finally hits the in the second half of the movie, DiBlasi is again in full horror mode and creates the atmosphere of dread and suspense he is known for. This guy could be this generation’s Carpenter or Craven if he keeps up the good work.
Of course, as you probably guessed, Missionary is not a real horror movie, but more of a mix between thriller and drama. Still, it has enough scary elements to keep horror fans entertained, and the admittedly few violent outbursts are well choreographed and surprising enough. Perhaps I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if I had seen it in a theater and paid $15, but as a free stream you could choose much worse.
IMDB rating 5.2/10
My rating 5.5/10