Mo’ Reviews: ‘In Bright Axiom’ Is For Those Who Love Conspiracies

A man meets one of the strange creatures in In Bright Axiom.

This film is publicized by Bunker 15 Films (www.bunker15films.com) . Bunker 15 helps connect indie films to entertainment journalists and critics in order to provide said films with press, something that can be hard to receive when you are a small film crew.

Director: Spencer McCall

Writers: Geordie Aitken, Farouz Gipson, Wylie Herman, Spencer McCall

Cast: Geordie Aitken, Tracy Pfau, Anna Seregina, Haley Who

Synopsis (Bunker 15): Welcome to the House of Latitude, where absolute discretion is demanded in exchange for entry into a mysterious social experiment in the form of an elaborate immersive experience. Drawing a community of curiosity seekers, this secret society becomes a way of life for some, putting increasing pressure on the organizers to maintain this sophisticated and fantastical parallel world. 

From the minds who inspired AMC’s upcoming series Dispatches From Elsewhere, IN BRIGHT AXIOM weaves an intriguing cautionary tale about the unforeseen consequences of embracing the unknown. Followers of Meow Wolf, Sleep No More, Ingress and other immersive & augmented reality entertainment should take note. 

The film also features never-before-seen discourse from the mesmerizing hip-hop polymath, RAMMELLZEE and original music by Justin Robbins, with additional songs from Isan, Tickles, and ü-Ziq.

Several ex-society members took its secrecy so seriously that they attempted to impede the production of this documentary. When that failed, they set out to intimidate theater owners into cancelling screenings and they launched an online campaign of articles and smears against the filmmakers.

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Awards won: Skiptown Playhouse Int. Film Festival – Best Documentary
Mile High Int. Film Festival – Best Film
SF DocFest 2019 – Official Selection
Doc NYC 2019 – Official Selection

Monique’s review:

In Bright Axiom is a documentary. Or, is it a movie designed to look like a documentary a la The Blair Witch Project, with relatively unknown actors doing scripted improv? Even though I’ve done as much research on this film as I could, I’m still not sure–turns out information on this film is as secretive as the group In Bright Axiom covers. 

That group happens to be The House of Latitude. This cultish social club seems as religiously strange as Scientology, as ridiculous as escape room bonding experiments. It is also, in my opinion, as idiotic as any theory about UFOs detailing secret information to ancient Egyptians. In Bright Axiom propels its viewers into a world where the new exclusive experience has entranced California locals who are frustrated with their lives and society at large and want an escape into a world where inspiration, discovery, and community abound. 

The coin every member of the House of Latitude receives upon joining the society. A scene from In Bright Axiom.
The coin every member of the House of Latitude receives upon joining the society. A scene from In Bright Axiom.

If I were a different type of viewer, In Bright Axiom would be right up my alley. But I’m not a big fan of conspiracy theories and cultish activities, and I’m especially not a fan of things that needlessly poke at my perceptions of reality. Suffice it to say; I wasn’t a fan of this movie, but not because it wasn’t well-crafted. It’s highly immersive and intriguing. 

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The weirdness of the society and the strange quests it sets its members on is just one of the levels of this film that aims to dive into the depths of the human need to define oneself as a powerful creator of one’s reality. Personally, for the reasons stated above, I don’t think I’d watch this film again because of my film tastes. But otherwise, this film is masterfully done, taking the viewer on a wild ride through the human psyche. 

One of the scenes from In Bright Axiom.
One of the scenes from In Bright Axiom.

However, for those of you who do love mind-bending films that do experiments with your perceptions, then In Bright Axiom is right up there. The film is a cautionary tale of how even ideas with the best intentions, plans created to inspire society, can backfire. Indeed, The House of Latitude fails spectacularly, to the point where its members started experiencing Avatar-levels of depression. The film aims to show the tried-and-true sentiment that absolute power corrupts not just the leaders but also the followers. 

If you love strange films that are part-philosophy, part-psychedelic narrative, then I’d highly recommend In Bright Axiom. But if you’re like me and you’re still interested in the film, make sure you have the stomach and mental space for it. 

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