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Movie Review: The List

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Released on June 10 by 20th Century Fox, The List introduces us to a world where an age-old group rules over the people on The List with an iron fist. One false step, and you may meet a quick end. It all begins in the 1800s when the group is formed. Blood oaths are forged during the Civil War, and these oaths lead to mystical powers and control over those who are on The List. Throughout the movie, we see that the members of The List will go to any lengths in order to keep their group intact.

Even though the movie begins with the creation of The List during the Civil War, the story is set in the present day. It follows two young adults, Renny and Jo, after the deaths of their fathers. After their fathers' deaths, they receive an invitation to join an organization they have never heard of before. Neither were close to their fathers and had no idea about their fathers' involvement in the group. The two are then thrown into a secret society where death comes quickly if you cross those in charge. This society is no more than a group of men in who wield great power and wealth.

That power is not only because of this wealth, but extends to a power over people. We see the leader of The List, Desmond Larochette, kill members who have gone astray without ever leaving his chair, all because of the oath of blood given to him when people join. The men on The List are promised great things, but at what cost? As Renny soon discovers, the cost is too high, and he begins to challenge the leader and the other men on The List. This puts himself and those he loves at risk.

The movie, based on a novel by Robert Whitlow, stars Malcom McDowell as Desmond. He is the current leader of The List and Hilarie Burton from One Tree Hill stars as Jo. The other main character, Renny, is played by Chuck Carrington. After Renny's father dies, he learns there was much more to the man than he knew. Even with a warning from his father in a posthumous video, he continues on his journey to discover what this mysterious List is about. He is lured in by the possibility of great fortune.

As for the young female, she is quickly pulled off from The List once they see her — The List is an all-boys' club. No girls allowed. You would think this would end her involvement in the story, but instead she is pulled in deeper, and her life is at risk just because she might know a bit too much. We see the lengths those involved will go to keep their fortunes safe as Desmond tries to put an end to her life. Anyone at odds with this plan is at great risk.

This movie is slow-paced, almost to the point where it might be too slow for some. I know it was for me. It is for those who like heavy, slowly unfolding suspense. If you are looking for action, this is not the movie for you to pick up. The acting is not the best in this movie, even though Malcolm McDowell does stand out. The remaining actors aren't familiar at all to me, except for Burton. Not having read the book, I can't comment on the accuracy of the adaptation. The director Gary Wheeler does set an ominous tone with this work, which helps add to the suspense.  Perhaps this one is a movie best left for rental instead of adding it to your collection.

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