The Truth Will Out hews incredibly close to Lonely Hearts in its plot structure and style. Both films were written and directed by Jessica Hunt and Sam Mason-Bell and follow a group of people being filmed and/or doing the filming, as normal activities give way to something insidious lurk beneath the facade. One of these films is a slightly flawed but engaging horror title that feels unlike anything else and culminates in a feverish pitch of scary insanity. The other is a mediocre ride that gets lost in the shuffle of supernatural investigative movies that come out a few times a year. If you’ve read my review of Lonely Hearts, then you already know which film is which.
Thomas (Kevin Cordell) is the host of the television program Hard Streets UK. In the series, he travels England to spotlight cultures and lives that may seem odd or underrepresented to the public at large. He interviews the people living this life and tries to understand where they come from and why they do this or that thing. He and his crew’s latest assignment is to interview a family of witches, or so they claim.
“He and his crew’s latest assignment is to interview a family of witches, or so they claim.”
Matriarch Diana (Suki Jones) is from “the old country,” though she also says she lived in England her whole life. Her eldest daughter (between 25 and 29, I am guessing, though never stated), Kate (Jessica Hunt), is outgoing and is the one who contacted the show’s producers about filming them. She’s tired of hiding away from the world. 19-year-old Phoebe (Kayla Charlton) is much more reserved and shy. The crew stays with the Samsons for the three days, during which Thomas gets information about the rituals and spells they conduct, as well as a bit of backstory on their way of life. But at night, he is having terrible dreams and can not sleep. Are the visions he sees real? Are the Samsons actual witches putting on the man? Why just him and not the entire film crew?
The Truth Will Out really wants to say something about how people in power can abuse that power when they believe no one is watching. See, Thomas likes to get handsy with some of his subjects; in this case, it is with the sheepish Phoebe. Of course, she does take too kindly to his advances, though things do end before Thomas goes too far. It is a great angle to take, and mixing that vital theme, especially in this day and age, with a slowly bubbling horror, until things boil over could and should have been truly frightening.
But, such is not the case here. There is not enough information about Thomas’s earlier predatory nature to fully sink in. Nor is enough known about what the witches wanted before he went full-on creep, to make this interesting. None of the characters have sufficient motivation to make sense of their actions properly; save for Stanley, played by Sam Mason-Bell, who hates having to do all the odd jobs on the show and hates his boss even more. If you are not invested, then the characters’ fates won’t matter, which means there is no sense of dread or menace that builds up to terrify you.
"…wants to say something about how people in power can abuse that power when they believe no one is watching."