The Group, a 2022 film written and directed by William Higo, is a compelling and thought-provoking horror/drama that delves deep into the complexities of addiction, loyalty, and the consequences of betrayal. Set against a backdrop of shifting alliances and hidden secrets, the film weaves a gripping narrative that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats until its unsettling conclusion.

The film revolves around an addiction support group made up of a motley crew of recovering addicts with a shared secret and a past full of deceit and guilt. Kara, fresh from an overdose, says she has nothing left to live for. Seth, claiming to have found success in sobriety, is a shining example of what the program can do. Charley has two years clean and just wants to get her son back. Henry is just there because he has to be and wants nothing to do with the other members of the group. Dave, an ex-cop with a disturbing secret, is indignant and ornery, having had experiences arresting some of the group members in the past. Eddy is still very much struggling with his demons, and Ellen, the group’s facilitator, just wants to help the group get through another meeting. All in all, the group is just diverse and balanced enough to make us feel as though these could be people we know without feeling too contrived.

The film’s strength lies in its well-crafted script, which masterfully explores the dynamics of the group as individual personalities clash and alliances fracture. With each character given a diligent time in the spotlight,  the film establishes its character’s personality and their place in the story incredibly efficiently.  Additionally, The pacing is expertly handled, allowing tension to build organically between these characters as the plot unfolds.


Skillfully utilizing flashbacks to provide insight into the characters’ shared history, the director creates a rich tapestry that adds layers to the narrative. The themes of trust, betrayal, and forgiveness are explored with nuance, prompting viewers to reflect on their own relationships and the choices they make. Furthermore, this is complemented by beautiful cinematography, capturing the tension of the addicts and their pain—delivering a story of heartbreak and hardship that is tough to look away from. 

Unfortunately, Where this film fell short was in its inability to feel wholly original. While the script was excellent and the actors delivered each line with a gritty sense of urgency and realness, the story itself failed to deliver its shocking revelations before they were obviously discernable. What is presented lacks any real strength due to its predictability right out of the gate with its heavy-handed foreshadowing and by the time the characters’ secrets were all laid bare, it felt more like “finally” than it did a real “aha!” moment. However, despite feeling vaguely like something we’ve seen before, The Group managed to keep the sense of urgency high and ramp up the tension so well that you almost don’t care that you figured out the plot twist ten minutes in because you’re so invested in each of these characters and their shared guilt.


Overall, The Group does a great job of making the audience feel all of the pain and remorse of its characters. You feel Kara’s hopelessness, Seth’s regret, as well as want Charley to be able to see her son again. The pacing is quick enough to keep you interested but slow and deliberate enough to feel like you’re living this meeting, minute by minute. While its plot twists feel a bit too obvious, it explores the heartbreak and agony of addiction in such a bleak and gritty way that by the end you’re left wanting to know more about each of the characters. What were their lives before addiction? What led them down such dark paths? And, most importantly, how did they find themselves in The Group? While it may leave you with more questions than answers, all in all, The Group was an enjoyable experience and will certainly entice those interested in a character-driven thriller. 

The Group (2022) is available to rent/buy from Amazon, Google, Apple, plus many more