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The Substance

Directed by Coralie Fargeat
USA, France, UK
140 minutes
Unclassified 18+
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The buzziest film out of Cannes, where it won the Best Screenplay Award, The Substance stars Demi Moore, Margaret Qualley and Dennis Quaid in a gloriously blood-splattered and hilariously satirical feminist body horror.
Moore plays the former Hollywood star Elisabeth Sparkle, now relegated to presenting a workout show, though at least it’s a stable job. But ratings are everything, and when sleazy TV exec Harvey (Dennis Quaid) decides that new blood – or fresh meat – is needed, Elisabeth turns to a mysterious medical procedure involving The Substance. Soon there is a young and beautiful version of Elisabeth called Sue (Qualley). All that is needed for both to co-exist is a careful maintenance of the equilibrium – time has to be shared equally: Elisabeth gets one week, then Sue gets one. But when the balance is disrespected, the repercussions are both grave and irreversible. Fargeat made her debut with the memorable 2017 thriller Revenge, and she adeptly ratchets up the tension in this extremely clever and risqué tale of excess and vanity, eliciting squirms and laughs.
This magnificent shocker heralds the squelchy, sick-making birth of a new horror maestro
★★★★★ Phil de Semlyen, Time Out
A cheerfully silly and outrageously indulgent piece of gonzo body-horror comedy ... Roger Corman would have loved it
★★★★Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
A visionary feminist body-horror film … in-your-face, garishly accessible and thrillingly extreme ... the work of a filmmaker with a vision.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety


Sun 16 Jun
Event Cinemas George Street - Cinema 4
Assisted Listening
Past Event Cancel
Sun 16 Jun
Ritz Randwick - Cinema 1
Assisted Listening
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
Late Announce
Unclassified 18+
USA, France, UK
Coralie Fargeat
Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Coralie Fargeat
Margaret Qualley, Dennis Quaid, Demi Moore
Coralie Fargeat
Benjamin Kračun
Jérôme Eltabet
Horror, Women Directors, Festival Award Winners, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Cannes Selected
Company Credits
Australian Distributor: Madman Entertainment
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