In the last year and a half, there have been three fairly remarkable films centered around cults, both religious and not: Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Zal Batmanglij’s Sound of My Voice, and Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene. While each of these films presented its subject matter from a unique perspective, each also remained clouded in ambiguity, leaving the final judgment up to the viewers who spent the entire movie calling bullshit anytime one of the cult leaders would speak. Where is the justice?

Judging from the first trailer for Mitchell Altieri’s Holy Ghost People, courtesy of Deadline, justice might be settled up somewhere in the Appalachian mountain region. In the film, Emma Greenwell (True BloodShameless) hires a scruffy ex-Marine played by Brendan McCarthy (True Blood, Justified) to help her find her sister Liz (Buffy Charlet) who may have been kidnapped by a snake-handling church out in the woods, run by Brother Billy (Joe Egender). Check out the surprisingly interesting trailer below.

Considering director Altieri is one half of the Butcher Brothers directing team responsible for such low-budget horror fare as The Hamiltons, the April Fool’s Day remake, and The Violent Kind, it shouldn’t be a stretch to assume Holy Ghost People will take some extremely dark twists and turns along the way. The trailer almost gives away too much, but does a great job in setting up the protagonist/antagonist angle that will hopefully pay off in Altieri-favorite Egender crucified on a cross made out of snakes. Taking things back down a notch is the long list of screenwriters, which includes Altieri, Egender, Kevin Artigue and Phil Flores, the other Butcher Brother.

While it doesn’t have a widespread U.S. release date yet, it will be premiering on March 10, 2013 at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX.

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