Welcome to the Circle (2020) is a horror movie that was released in 2020. The premiere took place on March 7, 2020. The plot comes with an age limit of 18+, because it contains scary scenes. David Fowler, who is best known for such films as: “Lean on Me”, “Paranormal Investigators”, “Big Trouble in Seattle”, worked on the film. What is most interesting, “Don’t Leave the Circle” is the first major project that the director has implemented. It is worth noting that he wrote the script himself.
The meaning of the film “Welcome to the Circle”
The plot begins with the fact that the father, together with his daughter, decide to go on a trip. Their choice was a picturesque forest, where there are many beautiful places and fresh air, because it has a beneficial effect on the body. The only drawback of this space is that there are wild animals that pose a danger to people.
One day, a father and daughter go for a walk. They have a chance meeting with one of the most ferocious inhabitants of the forest – a bear. At first they think he didn’t notice them. However, after a while they have to escape from a large beast. Greg’s daughter does her best to fight off the bear. The child’s psyche cannot withstand such stress, so the girl loses consciousness. It would seem that the baby was supposed to die, but not everything is so simple.
When Sam opens her eyes, she realizes that she is alive. Around the girl are strange people whose faces are hidden behind a mask. In some strange and magical way, she ended up in a place where sectarians live. Greg’s daughter expects some aggression, but the villagers greet them amiably: “Welcome to the Circle.” The father is horrified by everything that is happening and already thinks that it is necessary to save himself and his daughter. He is surprised by the behavior of his child, because the girl was not afraid to put on this terrible mask, which completely repeats the human face. Recently arrived people do not understand at all why they are sectarians. The father is amazed that his daughter has made friends with “children” who are just props. Instead of living guys – ordinary mannequins.
Then the plot unfolds unpredictably. The main character is shocked by the behavior of an unfamiliar group of people. He could not even suspect that such people exist in the modern world. Cultists seek and capture people to eat their flesh. When the man learns the whole truth about them, he is going to run away, taking his daughter with him. They are trying to get free. However, nothing comes out.
Later it becomes clear that the sectarians are not just maniacs and eaters of human meat, but obsessed with a certain idea. They worship an ancient deity who requires an offering. Sectarians are confident in the correctness of their actions, otherwise they would not have committed them. For people who have recently entered their lair, this turn of events is frightening.
After all this, the plot changes a little – the viewer gets acquainted with Grady. The specialist is engaged in the displacement of a person from various types of organizations. For example, religious, political. The professional struggles with deprogramming. It lies in the fact that the kidnapped victim is used for their own purposes. In the direction of the hostages, the following psychological manipulation is applied – pressure, coercion to do something. On this occasion, many people have great discussions, because the topic of freedom of belief is very delicate.
In this film, the sect is well shown, how it “includes” a certain person in its group. The benefit of such stories is visualization. Certain tricks were used with Greg’s daughter, which quickly helped to gain the confidence of a little girl. Moments with a mask and “children” who are actually dolls are a confirmation.
Returning to the plot, the specialist arrived at a place where you can penetrate this secret Circle. Her task is very simple – she wants to find the missing girl. A few years ago, the parents were looking for their daughter, but they were never found. They had the impression that she had simply dissolved. The deprogramming professional has suspicions about the involvement of the sect in this event, so the “operation” to save begins.
The plot makes you think: “Is it true that the heroes experience all this after being rescued by unknown people?”. However, there is another meaning, which may also be the director’s idea. David Fowler chose to portray the transition to the other world. For example, to show hell, where terrible things happen. The unsettling atmosphere adds a point to this assumption. It is possible that the girl and her father were both dead in the accident. It is enough to remember the beginning, where the beast attacks them in the forest. Also, the audience when viewing the question arises: “Who is Percy Stevens? Man or master of hell?
The film has arthouse elements. There is something for the viewer to think about in the story, and the plot is not as simple as it might seem from the very beginning. Most people expect stories like this: bloody scenes, violent moments. Horrors are often not something that is aimed at revealing a deep meaning, but more at getting certain emotions and impressions. However, Don’t Leave the Circle is an exception. The film combines these two features.
The appearance of another hero is not at all accidental. Grady is a man who grew up in this cult camp from childhood. One day he was able to get out. The guy is well aware of many of the habits of this group of religious people. Grady is invited to take part in the search for a lost girl named Rebecca. However, his former plan to help is crumbling. He cannot resist the past and “enters” the sect again. This piece of plot perfectly demonstrates the state of any addiction. A person who escapes from it can often again fall under the influence. It also confirms how dangerous certain religious groups are. They have many techniques that break the human psyche. The group members are experienced, so I can inspire certain information.
The film contains many moments that make you “break” your head over the interpretation of events. Some things have an indirect meaning and a deeper one.
Movie ending explained
The ending of the film is quite unexpected for most viewers. Greylee moves into Greg’s daughter. There are many questions here. Why in it and why? There may be several assumptions here. First, to compensate for a terrible childhood. Secondly, to defeat Percy. It also remains unclear if he defeated him. Third, is Grady becoming as evil as Percy? These are not the only questions that arise when watching the film.
The ending gives “food” for thought. Sometimes it may seem that the film is not about a sect at all, but something else. There is one point that points to deeper thoughts about the ending. For example, the scene where Sam talks about his father and points to the mannequin.
The author of the created script wanted to show how trusting and suggestible a person is. Due to some events that happened to him, he can fantasize something. Also give a “soul” to some object in order to save the psyche. The creator wanted to focus on some deviations that can occur after staying in a certain environment. For example, girls with sectarians.