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Antrum and 12 Other Cursed Movies That Will Make Your Skin Crawl

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Goat effigy in Antrum

(Photograph by Else Movies)

Horror movies thrive on their aura of hazard, and whether or not you’re in a darkened theater surrounded by strangers or in your basement rec room with all of the lights turned off, the expertise will be heightened by the mere suggestion that one thing may be “off” concerning the film you’re watching. It’s an idea that’s so compelling that Shudder lately premiered a whole docuseries devoted to it; it’s known as, slightly appropriately, Cursed Movies.

In honor of the latest addition to the canon — the fake documentary Antrum: The Deadliest Movie Ever Made — we’re going to pay slightly tribute to the “discovered footage” horror films that tricked folks into believing their authenticity, in addition to these city legend-like “cursed” movies that earned sinister reputations due to the unlucky, disturbing, and typically tragic occasions that had been allegedly attributed to them.

However they’re solely films, proper?


Antrum (2019)

(Photograph by Else Movies)

What higher approach to kick issues off than with a film that could be a excellent Venn diagram of each ideas – “discovered footage” faux-real horror and supposedly cursed movies. Antrum purports to be a documentary a couple of misplaced 1970s movie that was solely screened twice, as a result of everybody who watches it dies. The film opens with an 8-minute documentary detailing the curse across the movie, then reveals you the “movie” itself, which is about two younger children who try to dig a gap to Hell to save lots of their lately deceased canine. The filmmakers do their finest to make the movie-within-a-movie look authentically ’70s to assist promote the entire façade. The truth that Antrum’s launch was preceded by rumors and phrase of mouth amongst hardcore horror followers (very like the way in which the controversial 2011 A Serbian Movie grew a status effectively earlier than it was ever screened publicly) lent the film an air of actual thriller. Some keen horror buffs even tried to trace the “authentic” Antrum down, believing it to be actual.

Plausibility Rating: 2 out of 5
Antrum is a pleasant attempt, however within the age of superior search engines like google and yahoo, it’s onerous to completely persuade folks {that a} movie with a supposed physique rely of 60 may really have been “misplaced.”


Poster for Snuff (1976)

The idea of a “snuff” movie – a film depicting an precise homicide – principally began in 1971 when Ed Sanders, the writer of a e-book concerning the Manson Household, asserted that Charles Manson and his followers had filmed their killing spree (no footage was ever discovered). Then, just some years later in 1976, husband-and-wife administrators Michael and Roberta Findlay made an affordable exploitation movie known as Slaughter about an actress and her director who’re murdered by a Manson Household-esque clan in South America. Grindhouse movie distributor Allan Shackleton purchased the movie, modified the title to Snuff, and launched it beneath the pretense that it depicted the true homicide of the principle actress (the tagline was “Filmed in South America…The place Life is Low cost!”). This kickstarted an obsession with snuff movies, though none have ever been conclusively unearthed.

Plausibility Rating: four out of 5
The Manson Household connection and the truth that folks nonetheless imagine within the existence of snuff movies even in the present day and actually promote this one.


Maybe essentially the most well-known “cursed” film of all time, the unique 1982 Poltergeist, a couple of suburban household terrorized by a supernatural presence, climaxed with a scene wherein the mother (JoBeth Williams) is dragged into {a partially} dug-out pool and is surrounded by skeletons – the reveal being that the housing improvement wherein they reside was unscrupulously constructed on high of a graveyard. The rumor was that the movie crew had not solely used actual skeletons, however had desecrated graves themselves to get them. Mysterious and premature deaths of a number of the actors within the trilogy, together with younger Heather O’Rourke (who performed the kidnapped little woman Carol Anne), who died on the age of 12 as a result of a congenital intestinal situation, and Dominique Dunne (who performed oldest sibling Dana), who was murdered by a jealous boyfriend on the age of 22, led to the city legend that the ghosts of the unwitting skeletal “co-stars” had cursed the movies and everybody who labored on them. It’s flimsy, as a result of clearly main gamers like Williams, Craig T. Nelson, director Tobe Hooper, and producer Steven Spielberg walked away unscathed.

Plausibility Rating: 1 out of 5
Though it’s the film everybody cites when speaking about curses, lots of the supposed connections are fairly skinny. Plus, extra of the actors and crew survived unharmed than didn’t, and lots of the “deaths” past the 2 younger leads had been merely age and explainable sickness.


Horror is a good way for younger skills to interrupt into the enterprise as a result of, typically, what you don’t see is scarier than what you do, so it’s a godsend for indie filmmakers with extra creativity than finances. The Blair Witch Mission happened at precisely the precise time – exploiting the nonetheless nascent “world huge net,” it managed to domesticate its personal city legend of supposedly misplaced cam footage that was recovered after a bunch of younger filmmakers went lacking. The vanity of it being filmed on the fly lined over the truth that you don’t actually see a lot of something, and the intelligent use of sound results and the general naturalistic performances by the lead actors made you suppose, only for a second, that perhaps this was the true deal. In fact, E-book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 got here out round a yr later to substantiate that, sure, this was certainly only a tacky horror franchise at its core.

Plausibility Rating: three out of 5
It could have misplaced some luster since, however on the time? It actually had folks satisfied. And the execution – from the early web sites to the movie itself – was almost excellent.


Strap in for this one: Producer Harvey Bernhard claims that the preliminary thought for the seminal horror basic The Omen got here from an promoting exec named Bob Munger. Munger steered {that a} film concerning the Antichrist can be cool, however that nobody ought to really make it as a result of “the satan was at work and he didn’t need that movie made.” He might have been proper. Only a month earlier than filming was to start out, lead actor Gregory Peck’s son dedicated suicide. As he flew to the set, Peck’s aircraft was struck by lightning, after which government producer Marc Neufeld’s aircraft was additionally struck by lightning on his approach to the placement. The resort Neufeld and his spouse had been staying in then acquired bombed by the Irish Republican Military. The crew employed a small aircraft to do some aerial pictures, however it was given to a different consumer on the final minute; that aircraft crashed on takeoff and killed everybody on board. Filming a zoo sequence, the younger boy taking part in the demonic Damien apparently upset the baboons a lot they began freaking out, so an animal wrangler was known as in to assist; the following day, he was mauled by a tiger and killed. However maybe essentially the most chilling results of this “curse” was what occurred to particular results supervisor John Richardson. One in every of his massive FX sequences in The Omen was one wherein a personality is decapitated by a sheet of glass. Whereas engaged on his subsequent film within the Netherlands, Richardson and his assistant had been concerned in a automobile accident, and his assistant was — you guessed it — decapitated. Legend has it the accident occurred close to a avenue signal that learn “Ommen, 66.6 km.” However it’s all coincidence, proper?

Plausibility Rating: four out of 5
It’s onerous to write down all of this off as coincidence. Even when folks low cost a few of it – just like the existence of the Dutch avenue signal – there’s much more that’s been verified.


Poster for Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

(Photograph by ©F.D. Cinematografica courtesy Everett Assortment)

Not lengthy after Snuff, one other movie got here beneath fireplace for allegedly depicting precise murders – and it was an early instance of “discovered footage” horror, as well. This Italian cult film was constructed round the concept that it was footage found after an American movie crew disappeared within the Amazon rainforest and had been killed and eaten by indigenous cannibals. The gore was so intense and practical that a couple of days after the film’s premiere, Italian authorities confiscated the movie, director Ruggero Deodato was charged with obscenity, and he was ultimately slapped with a homicide cost when it was steered Cannibal Holocaust was, in reality, a snuff movie. Though it was later confirmed that not one of the actors had been killed or harmed, the movie does depict scenes of intense animal cruelty that had been actual. Enjoyable reality: the pretend documentary the crew was engaged on was known as The Inexperienced Inferno, which might be the title adopted by director Eli Roth for his 2013 homage to Cannibal Holocaust.

Plausibility Rating: three out of 5
The tough, dirty cheapness of the movie and the addition of precise animal butchery make this really feel nearly like the true deal.


What’s distinctive concerning the “curse” of The Crow is that it isn’t a lot concerning the movie as it’s an extension of a curse that’s believed to have haunted martial arts icon Bruce Lee and his household for generations. In fact, the 1994 horror-tinged comedian e-book adaptation is notorious as a result of tragic loss of life of star Brandon Lee, Bruce’s son, who died after a prop gun misfired and a projectile struck him. The movie was hampered by setbacks and accidents – the set was destroyed quite a few occasions, most notably by a hurricane that struck its North Carolina filming location – however normally, the issues appear to have been brought on principally by the truth that it was low finances and not on time, and corners had been lower slightly too recklessly. Some even declare that the Chinese language mafia assassinated Bruce and Brandon, which is eerie when you concentrate on the truth that Bruce Lee’s final movie, Sport of Loss of life, appears to foretell this. In that film, Bruce’s character is a martial arts actor who’s shot by an murderer posing as one of many stunt crew. Additionally, the biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story anthropomorphizes the supposed household curse as a bodily demon that haunts Lee his entire life, and at one level within the movie, the demon goes after a younger Brandon. Dragon was launched in 1993 – a yr earlier than The Crow.

Plausibility Rating: 2 out of 5
The concept of a Lee Household Curse is compelling, and it suits in with the entire mystical aura surrounding Bruce. However dig deeper into the on-set occasions of The Crow, and all of it seems to be extra a case of negligence and unprofessionalism than a sinister hex.


If the Satan actually does exist, he appears to spend an terrible lot of time on movie units. Earlier than The Omen tempted destiny with every capturing day, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist skilled its personal unnerving incidents. Telling the story of two clergymen battling a demonic presence that has taken maintain of a younger woman named Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), the movie is an undisputed basic of the horror style, and a few of that will need to do with the notion that the movie itself was really possessed. Issues acquired off to a rocky begin when the MacNeil household residence set – the place a lot of the motion takes place – was destroyed by fireplace. The one room that was untouched by the blaze…was Regan’s. As well as, nearly all the actors suffered accidents throughout the filming, and televangelist Billy Graham even claimed that “there’s a energy of evil in that movie, within the cloth of the movie itself” and steered that merely projecting it was like opening a door for demons. The film held its premiere in Rome, throughout a violent thunderstorm. One attendee even handed out and broke her jaw, later trying to sue the manufacturing as a result of she blamed subliminal messages for her tumble.

Plausibility Rating: three out of 5
Among the spookiness skilled on set and at early screenings was doubtless psychosomatic, however the film nonetheless carries a heavy creep issue regardless.


Why not full Devil’s personal private trilogy with a supposedly cursed film that pre-dates each The Omen and The Exorcist? Rosemary’s Child is rightly credited with redefining the horror style by taking it away from the campy cobwebs and castles of the previous Vincent Value days and legitimizing it as a “actual” grown-up artwork kind. Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes star within the story of a younger mother-to-be who strikes right into a New York residence constructing that additionally occurs to accommodate a Satanic cult. Producer William Fortress – who was notorious within the 1950s and 1960s for selling all types of gimmicks like floating skeletons and rumbling theater seats in an effort to promote the “actuality” of his horror films – believed that actual witches had cursed the set. The movie’s composer suffered a nasty fall shortly after the film wrapped and died after being comatose for a number of days. Fortress himself fell sick with painful gallstones that required surgical procedure. And, in fact, director Roman Polanski’s spouse on the time, actress Sharon Tate, and their unborn baby would fall sufferer to the Manson Household a yr after the movie’s launch.

Plausibility Rating: 1 out of 5
It’s straightforward to think about something Devil-related as tempting destiny in relation to curses or unhealthy mojo, however most of those incidents appear loosely related at finest.


Faces of Death

Simply as The Blair Witch Mission got here alongside on the excellent time to reap the benefits of early web, the legend of Faces of Loss of life is basically a product of the early 1980s VHS growth. Earlier than Blockbuster, video shops had been small (typically seedy) mom-and-pop shops, and Faces of Loss of life was a type of creepy little oddities you’d discover on one of many dust-covered cabinets. Allegedly depicting “actual” deaths, it served as a badge of honor for anybody who was really capable of get ahold of a duplicate and watch it. Though the movie does comprise some actual footage – like newsreel clips from an accident the place you’ll be able to see paramedics cleansing up the stays of a bicycle owner who had been struck and killed by a truck – it was nearly fully faked by author and director John Alan Schwartz. Sure, even the notorious scene the place a desk stuffed with diners seem to kill a trapped monkey after which eat its brains.

Plausibility Rating: 1 out of 5
Should you don’t catch on instantly whenever you’re launched to the film’s “medical skilled” host, “Francis B. Gross,” you’ll catch on throughout sequences just like the “actual” shark assault that someway has footage from the shark’s POV because it eats a diver. Did it get a cinematography credit score?


Vic Morrow in Twilight Zone: The Movie

(Photograph by Courtesy Everett Assortment)

The movie model of the basic horror and sci-fi tv collection let 4 completely different administrators adapt a basic episode: “Kick the Can” by Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Raiders of the Misplaced Ark), “It’s a Good Life” by Joe Dante (Gremlins, Innerspace), “Nightmare at 20,000 Ft” by George Miller (The Street Warrior, Mad Max: Fury Street), and “Time Out” by John Landis (Buying and selling Locations, Animal Home). Though some declare the film is cursed, it’s actually simply that there’s a way of morbidity round it as a result of veteran actor Vic Morrow (father of Jennifer Jason Leigh) and two younger actors taking part in Vietnamese kids had been killed in an on-set accident throughout Landis’ phase when a helicopter that was a part of a sequence recreating the Vietnam Warfare crash-landed on them. Not one of the different administrators skilled any weird or unexplained incidents, and all continued to have profitable careers. However the tragedy hung a darkish shadow over Landis and lends the film a creepy, all-too-real really feel.

Plausibility Rating: 1 out of 5
Once more, this was one horrible, tragic accident brought on by director negligence. The remainder of the movie (and filmmakers) acquired on wonderful with no curse-related incidents.


GUINEA PIG: FLOWER OF FLESH AND BLOOD (1985)

A guinea pig pushing a tiny shopping cart

Not one of the pictures from this movie are acceptable to point out you, so here’s a guinea pig pushing a tiny buying cart. (Photograph by Newspix/Getty Photographs)

Created by artist Hideshi Hino primarily based on his personal manga collection, the Guinea Pig films function the identical form of fake documentary really feel as one thing like Faces of Loss of life or Cannibal Holocaust, and they’re legendary amongst hardcore horror followers. With none actual plot to talk of past “psycho kidnaps girls and dismembers them in ugly trend whereas dressed as a samurai,” the flicks do really feel much less like a narrative and extra like some forbidden residence video. That mentioned, two incidents lend it a selected air of menace. One is {that a} copy of Flower of Flesh and Blood was despatched to the FBI by Charlie Sheen – sure, Charlie Sheen – as a result of he was satisfied it was an precise snuff movie (it was not, and all the deaths and butchery had been faked). The opposite is {that a} copy of the movie was discovered within the residence of a person named Tsutomu Miyazaki, a cannibalistic serial killer referred to as the Otaku Assassin who was behind the kidnapping and homicide of 4 younger women between 1988 and 1989 in Japan. The movie was believed to have impressed him.

Plausibility Rating: three out of 5
All Hino needed to do was not put a title card over the opening “stalking” sequence and it might need labored. The scene actually seems and looks like one thing a creep would report as he follows girls down the road. However no actual serial killer goes into AfterEffects and provides cool titles and music cues to their homicide footage. No less than, not that we all know of.


ATUK

John Belushi, Sam Kinison, John Candy, and Chris Farley

(Photograph by Common Footage, 20th Century Fox Movie Corp., Common Footage, Sony Footage Leisure)

Rounding out or record of horror is… not a horror movie, however a film that’s believed to be so cursed it is going to by no means be made. A comedy primarily based on a 1963 satirical novel known as The Incomparable Atuk by Canadian writer Mordecai Richler, the story is about an Inuit poet who travels to Toronto and has a collection of fish-out-of-water experiences within the massive metropolis (the movie model Americanized it by making Atuk a local of Alaska who travels to New York). Sounds fairly primary, proper? It would effectively be, if the film didn’t appear to kill each actor related to the lead position. The curse of Atuk is especially bizarre as a result of the novel itself isn’t about something sinister or paranormal. The primary man up for the position was comedy legend John Belushi; after his premature loss of life from a drug overdose, the producers approached comic Sam Kinison… who then died in a drunk driving accident. So that they determined to supply the half to John Sweet, who would die from a coronary heart assault a couple of months after getting the script. Undaunted, the half was then dangled in entrance of one other SNL vet – Chris Farley. He, too, would succumb to a drug overdose. Even stranger, Farley allegedly gave a duplicate of the script to a buddy who he thought may additionally have an interest within the position, specifically fellow SNL alum Phil Hartman. 5 months after Farley’s loss of life, Hartman was shot and killed by his spouse, who dedicated suicide hours later.

Plausibility Rating: 5 out of 5
If this film doesn’t scream “cursed,” we don’t know what does.


Thumbnail picture by Else Movies

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