14 Strangest Movies and Documentaries About Cults That’ll Leave You Enthralled

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Are you searching for bizarre cult stories to binge? You've got company. People are constantly interested in cults and how people become a part of them. Here are some of the most recommended movies and documentaries about cults.

1. Jesus Camp (2006)

jesus camp
Image Credit: Magnolia Pictures.

Jesus Camp is a documentary about a charismatic Christian summer camp that brainwashes children that they have “prophetic gifts” and how important they are to Christianity. Becky Fischer, the camp's founder, discusses her mission to indoctrinate youths in the word of God.

2. Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

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Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Martha Marcy May Marlene is a thriller film following a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) who suffers from delusions and paranoia after returning to her family from an abusive cult. It stars John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson, and Hugh Dancy.

3. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)

Image Credit: PictorialEvidence/Wikimedia Commons.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a documentary about Scientology. It presents a condensed history of Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, deconstructing the church's claims.

The film features various ex-members testifying to the abuse and exploitation. 

4. The Master (2012)

the master
Image Credit: The Weinstein Company.

The Master is a psychological drama film following a World War II Navy veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) struggling to adjust to a post-war society. He meets charismatic leader Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in a religious movement called The Cause. It also stars Amy Adams. 

5. Sins of the Amish (2022)

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Image Credit: Peacock.

Sins Of The Amish is a two-part series on Peacock, examining the sexual abuse plaguing the Amish community and the broken criminal justice system failing to protect the victims. 

6. The Endless (2017)

the endless
Image Credit: Snowfort Pictures.

The Endless is a sci-fi horror drama following two brothers (Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead) who visit an alleged UFO death cult to which they formerly belonged.

Hoping to discover closure, they reconsider the cult's beliefs after the confrontation with unexplainable phenomena surrounding the camp.

7. The Source Family (2012)

the source family
Image Credit: Drag City.

The Source Family is a documentary recounting the story of Father Yod and the Source Family.

A lot of the documentary was ascertained from Isis Aquarian's archives of diaries, photos, films, and cassette tapes, and input interviews of the Source family and people who knew Jim Baker (Father Yod).

8. The Ritual (2017)

Image Credit: Netflix

The Ritual is a British horror movie following four college friends heading out to hike through the Scandinavian wilderness. However, a wrong turn leads them into a mysterious forest of Norse legend.

There, an ancient evil stalks them. It stars Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, and Sam Troughton. 

9. Charlie Says (2018)

charlie says
Image Credit: Roxwell Films.

Charlie Says is a biographical drama following fictional versions of the three women who killed people for Charlie Manson — Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Susan Atkins.

They are confined to a cell block with an empathetic graduate student attempting to rehabilitate them. It stars Hannah Murray, Sosie Bacon, Marianne Rendón, Merritt Wever, and Matt Smith playing Charlie Manson. 

10. The Sacrament (2013)

Image Credit: Magnolia Pictures

The Sacrament is a found-footage horror thriller that follows VICE journalists (A. J. Bowen and Joe Swanberg). They document their co-worker's (Kentucker Audley) attempt at locating his sister (Amy Seimetz) after she joins a reclusive religious commune.

It's based loosely on the real-life events of the 1978 Jonestown Massacre.

11. Midsommar (2019)

Midsommar Florence Pugh
Image Credit: A24.

This Ari Aster horror film explores what happens when a group of young adults are invited to their friend's hometown in Sweden for their midsummer festival. The cult is seemingly pleasant and cheerful to the new visitors, but as the group spends more time there, they start to see something sinister lurking underneath.

12. Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006)

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Image Credit: Firelight Media.

This documentary looks at some never-before-seen footage of the cult Jim Jones led and eventually convinced to take their own lives. When more than 900 people moved to Guyana, they didn't know what the ending of their story might be.

13. Faults (2014)

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Image Credit: Screen Media Films

Faults focus on a cult deprogramer who's hired to help a couple's daughter who just left a mysterious cult. But as time goes on, the case turns out to be more complicated than it seems.

This film stars Leland Orser, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Chris Ellis.

14. Mandy (2018)

Image Credit: RLJE Films.

Mandy tells the stories of a couple who live in a secluded forest but have their lives changed forever when a cult arrives to take the wife away. This sends everyone on a journey they never expected.

Nicholas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, and Linus Roache all-star in this movie.

Source: Reddit.

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