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The Heretics (2017) Movie Review

Updated on November 26, 2019
Noel Penaflor7 profile image

I Wrote my First Movie Review While Giving Birth to a Camera. It has followed me ever since. Please don't mind the Mess.

MPAA Rating
Running Time
87 minutes
Chad Archibald
Jayme Laforest

The Heretics is a Canadian horror movie written and directed by Canadians and seen by every single Canadian in Canada. (Spoiler alert- Oddly, there are no references to hockey or Tim Hortons). There are no actual black people in this movie as what was supposed to be a black person was really Justin Trudeau in blackface.

The only reason I’m writing Canada so much is that every promo I’ve seen for this movie has “Canada” every 4th word just in case you the viewer doesn’t know this movie is from Canada.

As I’m writing this an IM just popped up indicating that I have officially become a Canadian citizen and a Canadian housing development company has started breaking ground on a new townhouse for me and my family.

I am now listening to Tegan and Sara as I write this.

Can I become a Canadian citizen too?

Sure. I think you just have to write a review about any Canadian horror movie. You get extra points of it’s directed by David Cronenberg or the Soska sisters and free vouchers for pancakes if you’re wearing a Toronto Raptors jersey while you do it.

I got an alert on my phone. I’m officially a Canadian!

Congratulations. We will now say words like “tuque”, “loonie”, and “two-four” in everyday conversation, eh.

I almost feel bad saying anything negative about The Heretics in this review because the country has been so kind to be ever since I started writing a couple of paragraphs ago. Maybe I’ll say the negative thing in a super nice way as to not offend my brothers and sisters in the great North.

Or maybe I’ll just lie and say that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the movie. Then I’ll get a free horse and raptor.


Gloria (Nina Kiri) seems to be having a really bad night.

She’s strapped to a table. There are people in robes all around her. They are wearing wooden masks. They’re chanting something in a strange language and I couldn’t help but think of the Pagans in goat leggings from that movie Dragnet.

Rest assured, Dragnet is a lot funnier than this.

We assume all this chanting is priming Gloria up to be a sacrifice for some kooky Canadian ritual. The robed cultists end up slashing their own throats. I feel bad for those robes getting blood on them because they look like they were just washed. Or maybe they were super clean because the cultists knew they wouldn’t be wearing them ever again.

Now that I think about it, those robes were pretty stylish. Probably made by the same robe manufacturer that made the robes from Satanic Panic. If I were a cult member or leader, I would insist we get those robes from that particular manufacturer or else it isn’t even worth it to start a cult. What kind of cult would you be with unsightly robes? No cult of mine, I tell you.

Anyway, after the cultists kill themselves and you’re left to wonder who in Canada is going to untie Gloria, you realize it was all a dream.

Take a breath, it was all a dream. Or was it?!!!

Weird night.
Weird night.

More like a memory from a time she’d rather not remember. You see, about 5 years ago Gloria was leaving a hockey game (I don’t know this for sure I just assume everyone in Canada is leaving a hockey game…or going to a hockey game…or playing hockey) when she was abducted by cultists.

They, um, did stuff to her. Cult stuff. But they did not kill her. Gloria did take a souvenir robe, just because they looked so stylish. It took her and her mother Ruth (Nina Richmond) 3 washes to get all the blood out, but boy was it worth it.

Gloria has spent the better part of the last 5 years working/volunteering a local church.

One cult is as good as any, I suppose.

Gloria’s made the best of a bad situation. She’s had a steady girlfriend Joan (Jorja Cadence) for almost a year. In fact, tomorrow is their 1-year anniversary. Joan gives Gloria a very special necklace. Tomorrow after work they’re going to do something special. Something Canadian.

Well, the celebration is just going to have to wait.

As Gloria is leaving, she gets bopped over the head like she was a field mouse and thrown into a van. Yes, into a van. They still have actual vans in Canada since apparently there’s no stigma about vans only belonging to rapists, chi-mos, and cultists.

I own a van.


It turns out this van-owning cultist kidnapper named Thomas (Ry Barrett)was one of the original cultists from 5 years ago. He decided at the last moment not to kill himself because killing yourself because your cult leader told you to was a really stupid thing to do. And he still has his snazzy robe.

Thomas waited 5 years to abduct Gloria because he wanted to “save” her. You know it’s never good news whenever some religious nut says they want to save you. Thomas disagreed with the cult as they claimed they put the soul of their lord and savior Abaddon inside Gloria and it would hatch/pop out in 5 years.

Thomas snatched Gloria just to prove it wouldn’t happen. Also, he just wanted to be there in case something does.

So years later Gloria is tied up pretty much in the same position. Except this time there’s something different about her. Or rather, inside her, because she really isn’t feeling well.

Guess that anniversary date with Joan is just going to have to wait. Maybe one of them will have a robe.

What Works With The Heretics

  • Jorja Cadence’s performance as the perfect girlfriend Joan stands out mostly because it’s the only one you can’t truly read…until you can.
  • Outstanding makeup effects are the only real thing you end up remembering from this movie after the end credits. You wish the screenplay and the execution of the movie in general were this stimulating.

What Doesn’t Work With The Heretics

  • One of those movies where you deduce all the major twists and plot turns 15 minutes before they actually happen. That doesn’t necessarily dampen your enjoyment of the movie, only your 9-year old cousin Kyle who just woke up from a coma won’t be able to guess what’s coming next.

Oops. Kyle’s back in a coma.

This was a weird day.
This was a weird day.


The Heretics is an amiable enough time-waster that’s never as bad as you’d expect nor as good as you’d want. It’s still a decent enough effort that the Canadian in you will offer a kind round of applause. Audible, but not too loud.

3 stars for The Heretics


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