REVIEW: The Pizzagate Massacre (2020)

dir. John Valley

Karen (Alexandria Payne) is a tenacious reporter intent on exposing a conspiracy theory that’s being pushed by a sensationalist news outlet. Having recruited a militia man named Duncan (Tinus Seaux) for security, together they fall deeper down a conspiracist rabbit hole with disastrous and violent consequences.

Due to rapidly developing online technology, outlandish theories have nowadays left the realm of aliens and pyramids and are seeping into people’s reality, leaving them questioning what is logical or not. Based on an actual QAnon conspiracy, The Pizzagate Massacre explores the media’s role in perpetuating seemingly absurd beliefs and the fear they invoke in viewers. 

Dark yet witty, the humour here is a welcome injection given there’s a narrative strand on male militia circles – who usually have ties to white nationalism and Nazism – and how easy it is to succumb to right wing ideologies, and how difficult it can be to escape them. The chemistry between the two protagonists is emotionally charged and, despite their difference in backgrounds, one can feel the empathetic connection they have for each other. 

Lizard people, sex cults, armed groups… John Valley’s sophomore outing really has it all. Boasting some genuinely laugh out loud moments and a final sequence that is both tense and heart-breaking, The Pizzagate Massacre is a compassionate take on the damage media can do. 


Ygraine Hackett-Cantabrana

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