ANTRUM: THE DEADLIEST FILM EVER MADE (2018)
Flick starts out as a faux documentary about a 70s horror film named Antrum, which supposedly has caused the deaths of dozens of people. After a few minutes of sullen and serious interviewees describing how the film has claimed lives and has now been banned, we are treated to the film itself. Antrum tells the tale of young Nathan (Rowan Smyth) whose dog has died and because she bit him once, he’s convinced she’s gone to Hell. His older sister Oralee (Nicole Tompkins) concocts a plan to put his mind at ease and takes him camping in a forest she tells him is the spot where the Devil landed when he fell from Heaven. She tells him here they can dig a hole through the layers of Hell and rescue his dog’s soul. Tall tale or not, Hell is exactly what the siblings get.
Homage to 70s demonic horrors with a nod towards found footage is directed by David Amito and Michael Laicini from Amito’s script. The intent seems legit and it’s heart appears to be in the right place, but the idea of a film that kills or has been banned for causing violence has been done before in flicks like Midnight Movie, Hills Run Red, not to mention John Carpenter’s Masters of Horror episode Cigarette Burns. Aside from some atmosphere, the film itself is kinda dull, though does capture the look and feel of a low budget 70s horror. The cast are definitely amateurs, though Nicole Tompkins does a good job carrying most of the movie on her shoulders. It’s a bit talky and nothing much happens aside from a last act encounter with some perverted, Satan worshipping rednecks, which makes one scratch their heads more than hide their eyes. There are some subliminal images and demonic symbols peppered throughout the flick, but they actually detract from the movie far more than add any atmosphere or creepiness. They’re too random to be effective, they’re distracting and give the impression of being more like an afterthought when the film didn’t turn out scary enough. Overall, the effort here can be appreciated, but the result is definitely disappointing, especially considering the expectations built up by it’s tagline.