It comes down to the style of The Truth Will Out. The documentary approach, much like found footage, only allows for a very narrow point of view to experience everything from. While Mason-Bell and Hunt have successfully employed this style before, here it means we are stuck with an egotistical creep, who hates being called a creep, being a creep, and his eventual comeuppance. While it would be a lie to suggest that it is not a bit gratifying to see Thomas get his due, it is not scary. Moving to the traditional third-person narrative way of filming the story would have allowed for insight and scenes from Kate, Phoebe, or Diana’s perspective. Instead, we are just told how they feel or what they think. So, it is all rather dry and dull.
This is not to suggest that The Truth Will Out is devoid of substance or merit. As per usual, Mason-Bell’s use of color is truly astounding. Scenes are gorgeously bathed in dark reds or a creepy blue that add atmosphere the script never quite achieves. The editing between the main footage and b-roll, for lack of a better term, is pretty good. And the sound design, specifically the odd things Thomas hears at night, is very well done.
“…it is all rather dry…”
Plus, the acting is excellent. Jessica Hunt brings a lot of charm to Kate, and the movie could have really benefitted from more of her. Cordell is appropriately slimy as the host and him switching from his off-screen diva personality to host mode is effective. Mason-Bell brings a lot of heart and concern to Stanley and his pressing of Phoebe to detail what happened is the most gripping the film becomes. Charlton, as the shy Phoebe, makes her apprehensiveness about outsiders and the world at large quite believable. Suki Jones plays the witch with a sense of levity and trepidation, and the dual nature works well enough.
The Truth Will Out has much to praise, that it is too bad that the film does not deliver overall. The characters are thinly sketched, and a real sense of dread never begins to emerge. But the acting and directing are good enough that the film is worth watching once, but only once… unless you forgot you watched at all, which might happen.
"…wants to say something about how people in power can abuse that power when they believe no one is watching."