In the 70s Matteusz Gdula invented an acting method that was supposed to make every actor "shine". Still, lots of his students die mysteriously and Gdula commits suicide. His method gets ...
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Dr. Victor Wolffenstein, a genius and at the same time devilish doctor, has set himself a huge goal, he wants to become immortal. In the Year 1930, in a small village and with the help of ... See full summary »
Jack van Cuusen
In the 70s Matteusz Gdula invented an acting method that was supposed to make every actor "shine". Still, lots of his students die mysteriously and Gdula commits suicide. His method gets banned. Now: Stella, an ambitious, but rather untalented drama student, gets accepted at the "Matteusz Gdula"-school. When she bears witness to some strange occurrences, she gets drawn into the bizarre and deadly web that surrounds the dark secret of the school... Written by
Does for acting school what Argento did for dance class
Accustomed to being rejected by acting academies, the ambitious but talent-free Stella is elated upon learning she's been accepted into the Gdula School whose imposing edifice has a wing that was boarded up after the institute's founder committed suicide back in the '70s. Matteusz Gdula had perfected a dangerous "method" guaranteed to make an actor "shine" but only a select few are permitted to learn its secrets by entering the abandoned wing. The last student chosen emerged after a week and performed "like Hepburn" before she mysteriously disappeared and now Stella's been asked if she'd like to learn...
Director Andreas Marschall takes his lead from Dario Argento and MASKS does for acting school what "The Maestro Of The Macabre" did for dance class in SUSPIRIA even though the horror here is giallo-esque rather than supernatural. Like its inspiration, the film is "style over substance" all the way but that style is the director's own and a potent one it is, too, with impressive cinematography accompanied by an ominous score filled with foreboding. The abrupt WTF ending comes as a shock but it makes one think about all that's gone before and works rather well in retrospect. The overall premise is similar to the director's previous TEARS OF KALI (2004) where former members of the Taylor-Eriksson group, a cult that tampered with a terrifying type of transcendental meditation, can't escape their killer karma in three loosely woven tales involving exorcism, psychotherapy, and an insane asylum. Both films are very effective low-budget shockers with judicious -albeit explicit- use of gore fx. Masks won "Best Horror Film" and (ironically) "Best Actress" awards at the 2011 Paris International Fantastic Film Festival, the 2011 Morbido International Film Festival, and the 2011 Fright Nights Horror Film Festival.
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