YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! CONTAINS SPOILERS
According to the artwork and trailer, this is "The Deadliest Film Ever Made!": a cursed film from the late 1970s (it boasts copyright dates of both 1977 and 1979) whose very occasional screenings have resulted in death and disaster. No less than three film festival programmers died mysteriously within a day of viewing it, its Hungarian premiere ended in carnage when the cinema burned down, and its one San Francisco showing led to an audience stampede. Is there something occult, even Satanic, within the film itself? What is the meaning of the subliminal symbols and Latin phrases scratched into the print, and the flashes of weird dungeon footage spliced in randomly?
After a brief to-camera documentary collage of cinephiles and experts talking about the film's history, we get Antrum itself: not an actual lost Z-horror from the 1970s but an immaculate recreation complete with heavy grain and print damage. A young boy and his older sister off for an adventure in the woods to dig a hole into Hell to rescue his beloved dog (who didn't go to Heaven because he was a bad dog), only to encounter a couple of crazy locals with a giant Devil sculpture...
This section of the whole film is a point-perfect recreation of those odd not-really horror movies of the era that used to turn up on low-quality VHS under new titles courtesy of short-lived budget video labels (the one I kept thinking of was Alan Rudolph's The Impure, aka Premonition), as well realised as Ti West's marvellous House Of The Devil. A pity then that after the woozy, meandering, dreamlike feel of Antrum we get a bit more doc footage explaining the occult symbols and repeated use of triangles in the visual style. To be honest, I'd have been happy with just the well-faked retro material but I guess they wanted to place it in some kind of context. There's a brief bit of background bestiality (between one of the local wackos and a dead deer) which has earned the film an otherwise unnecessary 18 certificate.