Brace yourselves…Sydney Film Festival has returned with yet another hair-raising line-up of horror flicks that are sure to shock even the most fearless of thrill-seekers! Whether you’re a hardcore horror buff or still peeking through your fingers, we’ve paired up some of our spookiest films with Sydney’s most enigmatic escape rooms to make sure you get the ultimate thrill this winter!
King of indie horror Larry Fessenden is back on the scene with Depraved, a terrifying, hallucinatory and darkly comic Frankenstein remake set in present-day New York. Updating the Gothic Sci-Fi classic for the 21st century, Fessenden’s Dr. Frankenstein is a PTSD afflicted military surgeon haunted by memories serving in the Middle East. Sharing a gruesome focus on disturbed doctors and human experiments, the ‘Dr. M’ escape room at Mission Sydney is Depraved’s perfect match, forcing its players to escape the fate of becoming a deranged chemist’s next laboratory rats!
This sumptuous, drop-dead-gorgeous (pun intended) film tells the wicked tale of a dazzling red dress as it is passed from from owner to owner, wreaking havoc on whoever dares to wear it. Soaked in the spirit of ultra-stylised, eye-popping Italian thrillers of the ‘70s and ‘80s (i.e. the candy-coloured nightmares of Suspira, Deep Red, Blood and Black Lace), In Fabric is an exquisitely crafted fashion-nightmare that is sure to thrill and intoxicate. Set in a mysterious haunted manor, the ‘Akame Room’ at Xcapes Chippendale makes a stunning pair, inviting you to take part in your own blood-soaked thriller filled with suspense, surprise and state-of-the-art design and technology.
A tip-top throwback to 1930s British murder mysteries, Here Comes Hell is an awfully outrageous, delightfully ghastly comic horror pastiche which unfolds in a typical Old Dark House. Sharing a classic black-and-white style, retro vibe and eerie atmosphere, ‘The Marlowe Hotel’ room at Cipher Room, Erskineville makes a spiffing counterpart, letting you step inside your own film-noir throwback as a private investigator in 1950s New York.
A haunting and unsettling tale in which the past inhabitants of a Canadian village are raised from the dead, Canadian maverick Denis Côté’s new film Ghost Town Anthology is an innovative and nuanced take on the horror genre. Filmed in grainy 16mm and featuring superb sound design, the film is an intimate and meditative exploration of collective trauma and the social crises that create “ghost towns”. Also featuring a harrowing soundtrack and disturbing atmosphere, we’ve paired this film with ParaPark’s spine-chilling ‘Gateway No. 9’, where horrifying sounds echo through a village from an old abandoned building, and you’ve been summoned to enter its darkened halls and retrieve the souls that have been locked inside.
If you didn’t have daddy issues before, this slow-burn “family film” thriller with a demented, deadly, and disgusting difference is sure to give you an overdose of father-son dysfunction. When 35-year-old New York hipster Norval (Elijah Wood) receives a letter from his estranged father, he immediately packs his bags and sets off to his dad’s isolated and eccentric cabin. You’ve probably already guessed, but let’s just say that this reunion errs much more on the side of stomach-turning than heart-warming. We’ve matched this insane thriller with Cipher Room’s chilling mystery-room ‘The Cabin’, which requires you to investigate a deserted cabin on your hunt for a notorious serial killer.
Mangled bodies, a severed hand on a plate, a pitch-black room. Both surreal and horrifying, the ‘Butcher’s Burrow’ room at Exitus Darling Harbour makes a disturbingly fitting pair with David Lynch’s Eraserhead. Screening as part of our All Night Cine-Love In extravaganza, this nightmarish, surreal and darkly comical horror will transport you to a grungy dystopian world like no other. With an incredibly eerie soundscape of industrial noise, blood-spurting re-animated roast chicken and a baby that gives Rosemary’s a run for its money, Eraserhead is a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience, simultaneously sickening and spectacular.