Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made uses a hook I haven’t seen done well since 2009’s Alien Trespass. For those who haven’t seen that fun 1950s sci-fi parody/ homage, it claims to have been a long lost, somewhat forgotten b-movie from that era. It interjects a few modern scenes from experts to give context to the film that is about be viewed.
Transplant the era to the 1970s, then hop genres from sci-fi to horror, and you have Antrum. Written and directed by David Amito, from a story concept he and Michael Laicini concocted, the film begins with a few interviews. These are in the present, and with a host of film industry workers, experts, and the like. The focus of these interviews is about the horrific legacy and history of Antrum.
The film proper begins with the death and burial of young Nathan’s (Rowan Smyth) dog, Maxine. In the car, driving home, he asks his mom if Maxine is in heaven now. Her answer upsets the grieving boy so, along with his older sister Oralee (Nicole Tompkins), run away from home. Oralee convinces Nathan that they could dig a hole to Hell and save their beloved dog.
“Travelling to the spot where Lucifer fell to Earth, the two make a pentagram on the ground, and Oralee reads from a grimoire.”
Travelling to the spot where Lucifer fell to Earth, the two make a pentagram on the ground, and Oralee reads from a grimoire. After the reading, the siblings see and hear strange things all around them. They encounter a Japanese man about to commit suicide, run afoul of two hillbilly occultists, and are attacked by unseen forces. Is all this just in the head of the mourning Nathan? Or is something actually after them?
While there is a lot to appreciate about Antrum, there is an equal number of flaws. For starters, the grain, flickers, distortion, and other effects to make the supposedly cursed film look like it is from the 1970s are clearly added digitally. The movie looks far too polished to work as what it claims to be. The edits, in particular, are far too clean and precise to truly replicate the feel of The Toolbox Murders or I Drink Your Blood. Given the film’s commitment to its gimmick, that it utterly fails to look like a film from the 1970s absolutely hurts it quite a bit.
"…grain, flickers, distortion...to make the supposedly cursed film look like it is from the 1970s are clearly added digitally."