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Fantasia 2022 Review: ‘Megalomaniac’ is a Weighted Tale of Trauma

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Introducing a film’s troubled protagonists as the children of a real-life serial killer (The Butcher of Mons, whose identity still remains a mystery) is bold. Of course, as horror fans, we appreciate bold, and writer/director Karim Ouelhaj certainly deserves some appreciation. His most recent film, Megalomaniac, is a heavily weighted tale of trauma that’s beautifully composed and enriched with blood-soaked stylization. 

The film follows Martha (Eline Schumacher), born in bloody fury from a victim of the Butcher. We see her as an adult, meek and unstable, working as a cleaner in a factory where she is assaulted by her coworkers with regularity. Her brother, Felix (Benjamin Ramon, Yummy) is a stoic spectre who takes after his father in the most violent of ways. 

The complex and disenchanted characters in Megalomaniac bless (or curse) the film with their dark legacy. It’s immediately compelling. When we first meet Felix, it’s a harsh and – frankly – frightening reminder of how quickly someone can be taken off guard and into the trunk of a car. His efficiency is sobering. 

Schumacher as Martha somehow manages to dominate your attention while remaining socially withdrawn. Her performance is incredible, swinging from one mental state to the next with erratic precision. It’s quite impressive; she completely inhabits this character, and you feel a strange balance of emotions for her. 

Martha’s scenes of trauma are devastating and hopeless. They’re haunting, harrowing, and almost unbearable. Her scenes of solitude are punctured with strange conversations, speaking to herself in harsh tones. But we are still reminded that she is not so delicate. Though her mental state is fragile, she wavers the line between victim and villain. 

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Megalomaniac is centralized on this fuzzy distinction, and the echo of trauma that carries across generations. From a horrific heritage, Felix and Martha carry the torch. Pushed by the weight of the patriarchy – and in the vein of New French Extremity classics like Calvaire (which also hails from Belgium) – Megalomaniac challenges its audience to bear the brutality of human nature. 

It’s quite the load to bear, but Megalomaniac is so well put together and so competently navigated that you don’t feel lost in despair. The film hits on the illusion of Manichaeism (the cosmic struggle between good and evil), showing that it’s not quite as simple as that. While the despair is ever-present, there’s almost a comfort in its darkness. 

Executed with stunning visual composition, a powerful pulsing score, and production design to die for, Megalomaniac is an impressive creation. It’s not one you’ll soon forget.


Megalomaniac is playing as part of Fantasia International Film Festival’s 2022 lineup. You can check out the teaser and poster below!

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Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘Raven’s Hallow’ Trailer Sees the Young Writer Solving Crimes of the Occult

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Hallow

Edgar Allen Poe’s upcoming Raven’s Hallow is a Shudder exclusive that is based on the young writer’s tales from when he was still stationed at West Point. So, we will see one of his stories that were inspired during his time as a cadet.

The synopsis for Raven’s Hallow according to Deadline goes like this:

Set in the autumn of 1830, Poe and four other cadets are on a training exercise in upstate New York when they come across a man eviscerated on a bizarre wooden rack. His dying words direct them to a remote rural community, holding sinister secrets. Determined to get to the bottom of the murder, Poe embarks on a quest that will bring him face to face with a terror that will haunt him forever.

Raven’s Hallow stars William Mosely as young Poe with William Moseley stars as Poe with Melanie Zanetti, Kate Dickie, David Hayman, Oberon K. A. Adjepong, and Callum Woodhouse.

Raven’s Hallow arrives on Shudder beginning September 22.

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Head over HERE to watch the full trailer.

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‘The Ring’ Comes to Blu-Ray Steelbook Complete With VHS Slipcase Design

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Ring

Japan’s entry into J-Horror with Ringu was one of the best that there has ever been. When America decided to do a remake, I can still recall a lot of people being upset that it wouldn’t measure up. However, Gore Verbenski’s dark portrait was nearly a better film than the original. From its ominous start to shocking finish The Ring was effective around every corner. 20 years later folks can still appreciate Verbenski’s film and in order to celebrate the film turning 20 we are getting a cool steelbook blu-ray for the film.

The steelbook comes with an awesome VHS design slipcase. Inside the steelbook is made of static and the iconic scene with Samara and the well.

The synopsis for The Ring goes like this:

It sounds like just another urban legend — a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.

Verbinki’s film is genuinely scary and it entirely deserves a 20th anniversary release. It is a film that has managed to stay in the conversation when horror films are being discussed. It still manages to get heavy play during the Halloween season on AMC. Rightfully so.

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You can pick up your copy of The Ring’s special edition beginning October 18.

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The Sanderson Sisters Are Running Amok in New ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Photos

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Pocus

The new D23 magazine featured a very welcome sight this time around. The wickedly awesome Sanderson Sisters are showing off a bit on their lead-up to the upcoming Disney+ Hocus Pocus 2 release. In each of the photos, the ladies are running amok as per usual. The lead-up to this sequel has been a long road. So, fans have been savoring the little teases made up of a teaser trailer, a couple of posters, and of course pictures. Fans are most excited that Hocus Pocus 2 sees the return of all three Sanderson sisters as well actor Doug Jones.

The synopsis for Hocus Pocus 2 goes like this:

It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve.

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The Hocus Pocus sequel stars Doug Jones (“The Shape of Water”), Whitney Peak (“Gossip Girl”), Lilia Buckingham (“Dirt”), Belisa Escobedo (“American Horror Stories”), Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”), Tony Hale (“Veep”), Sam Richardson (“The Tomorrow War,” “Good Boys”), Juju Brener (“Vanquish”), Froy Gutierrez (“Teen Wolf”), Taylor Paige Henderson and Nina Kitchen.

The Sanderson Sisters will officially run amok a second time when Hocus Pocus 2 lands its broom on Disney+ beginning September 30.

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