Now streaming on multiple platforms, Antrum is purportedly a 1970s-shot horror movie that is actually cursed. People who watch it die. Theaters that show it burn down. This is all bunk because I watched it and I haven't died—at least, not yet. The gimmick that this movie kills would bring a tear to William Castle's eye, yet it's not a good movie.
Like Cannibal Holocaust (1980), we get a framing story—presented here as a documentary—about the murky history of the cursed and elusive film and how a print was recently discovered. So, then we get to the evil movie-within-a-movie, Antrum, which tells the tale of a boy (Rowan Smyth) and his teenage sister (Nicole Tompkins), who trek into a forest to dig a hole to hell in an attempt to rescue the soul of their recently deceased dog. Soon, strange things begin to happen, and it appears the forest is infested with little demons.
The movie-within-a-movie actually isn't bad, but it is ruined by two things. First, it's the hokey stunts presented throughout, trying to convince us that this is an evil movie. The supposedly satanic black-and-white images spliced in work mainly as a distraction. Next, there is the movie-within-a-movie's ending. Just before the credits role, we have a satisfying emotional scene that even has a poetic feel to it, but then, in the middle of the end credits, the filmmakers slap us in the face with a wet towel and show "the real" ending, which is rather mean-spirited and depressing. Instead of a shocking surprise, it felt to me like directors David Amito and Michael Laicini just revealed their contempt for their intended audience.