Demonised by a False Teacher
When Melissa (Megan Park) was found dead, presumably having committed suicide her preacher husband Daniel (Brant Daugherty) seems to be doing well, even using the press coverage to talk about the end of the world message which he believes strongly in and what governs the church he overseas. But when one of his followers, Adam (Iain Belcher), is forced to go to the police to not only confess to killing Melissa but having been ordered to by Daniel a police investigation starts with Adam telling how he met Melissa and Daniel in college and how as time passed he Daniel became more and more obsessed with the end times and being prepared for it.
"Ungodly Acts" is certainly a movie with some interesting ideas as whilst we have this set up of a suicide which could be murder it also takes us into the world of a religious sect and a man who is essentially playing God by manipulating those who believe what he says. Whilst in doing so it certainly portrays Daniel as a rule until himself when it comes to the way he operates, keeping Melissa on the hook whilst having a homosexual relationship with one of the followers who buys into his version of religions. And as such we also see how what he ends up teaching strays from the Bible, but in a way that for those who don't know their Bible could easily buy into. But there is that suicide/murder side of things and so what we also get to see over time the disharmony which builds up with in the sect with Daniel at odds with anyone who questions his commands and proclamations.
Unfortunately for all the interesting ideas and showing how Daniel was smart and manipulating the movie doesn't quite come together in such a way that it draws you in to the unfolding story. That is down to this being yet another made for TV movie which feels like it has to start with a crime and then tell the back story to how we got there and so there is no real intrigue. Although I have to say the performances through out are surprisingly good with both Brant Daugherty and Megan Park doing a nice of delivering their character's torment when it comes to their relationship with Daniel struggling with his homosexual feelings whilst Melissa is feeling rejected as he won't touch her.
What this all boils down to is that "Ungodly Acts" is one of those rare TV movies which has some interesting ideas. Yet it wastes them because it is another one of those movies which thinks it is being clever by giving us a crime and then taking us through the back story to that crime, in doing ro robbing the movie of some mystery and intrigue.