Refusing to accept that his recently euthanased dog, Maxine, is now burning in the pits of Hell, devastated young Nathan finds himself tormented by constant nightmares and infernal visions. To ease his suffering, Nathan's older sister, Oralee, takes him on a trip to the grim woods to find the fabled spot where Lucifer himself fell to Earth when he was cast out of Heaven, and open a portal to the unknown. Now, bent on rescuing the dead dog's soul, the determined siblings follow the unholy instructions of a genuine grimoire, digging their way through the inner layers of the netherworld. However, as they delve deeper and deeper into the cursed realm, disturbing incidents start to occur, as dark signs tell the unprotected explorers of the supernatural to leave while they still can. Is Oralee's mind playing tricks on her? Have they unearthed, indeed, Hell's unfathomable secrets?Written by
Nails its tone and style but let down by a lame story
Gaining some notoriety on the VOD circuit after it found itself sitting atop of Amazon Prime's number 1 trending position during the Covid-19 streaming highs of mid-April, Antrum's gimmicky set-up of ¼ documentary about the film in question and ¾ feature developed as if it was filmed in the late 70's and only now unearthed after a series of cursed screenings and death of viewers, is a neat marketing ploy for what is an otherwise entirely generic and rather bland offering.
To give its directors David Amito and Michael Laicini credit, Antrum does a great job in its quest to feel like a genuine product of the horror nasties that littered rental stores in the 70's and 80's and in an production space and sense this low budget offering should be commended for its respect of the films that clearly inspired it, but the narrative built around this is a Blair Witch like slow-burn that never gets to the culmination or pay-off one would hope.
For what's supposed to be "the deadliest film ever!" much of Antrum is rather tame, you keep suspecting a finale to blow us off our feet is coming, something akin to Hereditary, The Witch or The House of the Devil perhaps, but Amito and Laicini are unable to get us to a destination like that as Antrum peters out with an ending that is neither scary or shocking, despite brief hints it might be going to some such space.
Surrounded by Alicia Fricker's noteworthy score and some solid performances from its young leads Nicole Tompkins and Rowan Smyth, as two siblings hell-bent on finding the soul of their lost family pet in some seedy woods that harbor some dark goings on, Antrum has more going for it than your average direct to VOD release that litter the marketplaces these days with their enticing titles and plot lines but it's never able to capitalise on the strengths it finds itself in possession of.
There's no doubt that had Antrum been able to utilise the tools at its disposal and done more with its hybrid idea of fake documentary played straight with a special screening of the film at the core of its investigation, we could've been in for a real horror treat but despite its title that claims otherwise the only deadly thing about this affair is how boring and lame it gets in its end game, squashing any chance it had of making its mark.
Final Say -
The marketing team behind Antrum deserve some sort of bonus as while much has been made about concept and deadly nature of this film, Antrum is in most cases a boorish horror that lives off its fine throwback style to a time gone by.
2 grimoires out of 5
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