Well well well, did I happen to stumble upon a real version of the movie spoken of in “Cigarette burns”?
So, apparently, there exists a movie known as Antrum which was made in the 70s. A movie that was thought to be lost until a surprise screening in Budapest during the year of 1988 but, after the premiere a fire erupted at the theatre where it was first shown killing 56 people. Another showing of the movie happened in the US where people who watched it started dying.
But somehow, people that were interested in the movie, after a very long time, managed to find a copy of it and restored it, getting it ready to be finally distributed.
The story is about a brother and sister who go to a forest that seems to resemble the suicide forest in Japan where they perform an occult ritual in order to save the soul of their dog. They reach a spot where apparently the devil was cast down from heaven and opened the gate of hell. But once they start digging, odd things start to happen.
Throughout the movie, we see for a moment, flashes of weird symbols. Upon slowing the image down and looking into it deeper I noticed that they were mostly upside-down pentagrams and other symbols. The main of which is apparently a sigil that is used to summon the demon Astaroth. There was even a short flash of text saying “nihil pretiosius veritate” meaning “Most precious truth”. What could it be alluding to?
Another thing that was found throughout the movie was black and white clips of a man and woman bound and gagged, that appeared to be tortured. But, unfortunately, that is where the film lost me.
I really, really wanted this movie to be something amazing. And at times it actually was. There are a few scenes that actually creeped me out, especially one involving a dark figure just staring at the camera. It was very effective and I really liked it. The atmosphere was also very bleak, tense and unnerving and did not really leave you a moment to breathe which are all things that I love about the movie and yet I think it had a lot of wasted potentials.
However, I did enjoy the movie and still recommend it. Yes, I am still alive after watching this movie (so far at least) and I actually do recommend it. As for authenticity, I am certain that all of the backstory provided is merely for publicity and well, it works. But I do recommend going into it with an open mind that it might be actually cursed. It can add to the experience. Even though I am not really a believer in that it was still fun to pretend, even for a second.
The best and worst part of the movie was the hidden symbols. I liked the concept of something being added in it in order to have an effect on the audience, for example, there was an interesting scene where they draw a cross in the hole, and when they cut back to it it appears upside down, and in the next cut, it appears normal again. It makes you feel uneasy, on the edge, but once you start oversaturating it and going overboard, it stops being effective. The audio though was really good and arguably the thing that kept the movie interesting for me the most.
If they actually wanted to go full occult satanic and symbolic with the movie they could have done a much better job. It just felt lazy and unfinished. Kenneth Anger’s “Lucifer rising” does a much better job at this. It makes you feel that you are not supposed to be watching it at times. It is much more detailed. It does not need to be so obscure too. “A dark song” was very well made and a fantastic film and the entire movie was about them setting up an occult ritual. Yes, plot-wise we will come to understand why some of the things make no sense but when you are making it out like there are outside forces affecting the movie it really should have been better.
Now how do I know for sure that it is fake? Well even if you ignore the obvious red flags and logistics, like the fact that a movie like this would be impossible remain unknown, everyone would talk about it for decades but the biggest indicator is (Don’t read ahead if you don’t want me to indefinitely ruin it for you) the fact that both of the main actors can easily be found on the imdb page of the movie.
At the end of the day, I can respect the fact that people try to make a movie seem cursed or something similar in order to enhance the viewing experience of the audience, but if it is only made to make the movie more popular and sell more copies, then it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Even if I do not hate the movie, as I said before I rather enjoyed it. Maybe it was a debut for the director, meaning he does not have enough experience, but at least he is on the right track.