Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
antrum | antrum: the deadliest film ever made | david amito | michael lacini | rowan smyth | nicole tompkins | found footage | found-footage | cult | ritual | demon | demons | canada | nightmares film festival | nff | curse
Film: Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Director: David Amito and Michael Lacini
Writer: David Amito
Starring: Rowan Smyth and Nicole Tompkins
This was a film that I heard about from one of the people that voted on what films to have at the Nightmares Film Festival. The little bit he told me, I made sure this was one that I would check out as it kind of sounds like similar to things like The Ring where there’s a curse film. This was also the regional premiere for it, so that was kind of a cool aspect as well. The synopsis is a young boy and girl enters the forest to dig a hole to hell. Said to be a cursed film from the late 1970’s, Antrum examines the horrifying power of storytelling.
We actually start this off as a mockumentary of the history of this film. It is supposed to be coming out of Russia from what I could tell. This was screened in Romania and the theater burned down. There were also mysterious deaths when it was shopped around to show at film festivals. I really like how you get this uneasy feeling before it is actually shown. There’s even a warning at the beginning stating that anyone who watches it, will die.
The story itself is very basic. We have Nathan (Rowan Smyth) and his sister Oralee (Nicole Tompkins). They’re family dog has to be put down and Nathan takes it quite hard. His mother isn’t the nicest when he asks if the dog will go to heaven. He’s shot down on this. His sister finds a book where she thinks that she can go to Hell to bring the dog’s soul back. Near them, in the woods is antrum, or the door to hell. They have to dig a hole and go through the many layers in order to get to the level the dog’s soul is at. Things aren’t necessarily how they seem though and there are these weird men nearby who also seem to be Devil worshippers.
The recap to this had to be a little bit shorter as there’s actually not a lot to the story here. I actually don’t mind this though, because a lot of what happens here is really in the visuals. I don’t really want to spoil a reveal that happens late in the movie, because it actually makes a lot of sense to the truth of what is going on. A lot of this is actually based on perception though.
There’s really cool aspect to this film that if you’re paying attention of you will see flashes of images in different places. What makes this even better is that at the very ending during the credits, it goes back to the documentary aspect to explain them. It actually makes sense why this is a cursed film and possible why the bad things happen. I’m not going to lie, I’m a sucker for this even though I know that it’s not real.
Something else I should point out is that this is from Canada, but they make it out to be like it is from Russia. They do a clever job at that making it seem why things are so off like they are. They also did a great job in filtering the images to make it look like it was filmed in the 70’s. It is little attentions to details like that which make me appreciate the work that the filmmakers are doing. There’s also not really a lot in the way of effects and what we get are more tricks of film and the look of things, which definitely adds to what they’re going for.
To shift to the pacing, the runtime comes in at 95 minutes. I think this actually works here, because the film within the film is probably just over an hour. The opening takes time to set the stage and try to build the fear of what happens to those that actually watch this. I’m not going to lie to you, I was a bit unnerved even though I knew nothing would happen. I do think that the lack of story does hurt just the slightest bit because I just feel it doesn’t necessarily know where it was going. The ending was fine in my opinion and worked for what they were building toward.
This would take me to the acting of this film, where I have to say overall they were fine. The historians and film experts I believed. They don’t really come off as actors so that helps with the realism. The actors in the film are definitely amateurish feeling, which actually adds to creepiness of it for me. Like I said, they’re not great, but there is something to what they’re doing.
Now with that said, this is an odd film that stuck with me a bit longer than it should have. It doesn’t have a lot in the way of story, but I like the back-story they create for it. The pacing is good for the most part, but the lack of story does make it lose its way a bit in later in the story for me. There are some cool visuals and some really creepy parts for sure. The acting comes off very amateurish, but I actually think that works in the favor of the movie. The soundtrack doesn’t necessarily stand out, but it does fit for what was needed and I do have to say, there’s some really creepy ambient noise as well. Overall I’d have to say this is a slightly above average film. I liked it, but I think there’s some missing parts to it really set it apart from similar type movies.
My Rating: 6.5 out of 10