Keola Racela (director)
23 August 2019 (released)
08 September 2019
The opening of the film with peeping toms Todd (Larry Saperstein) and Abe (Evan Daves) coping a look at a couple having sex is as close to porn as Porno gets. It does however drop a few hints about their backgrounds as Todd pulls them away and off to work at the local cinema.
Said cinema is managed by Mr Pike (Bill Philips) a devout Christian who holds a prayer meeting with the rest of the team Chaz (Jillian Mueller), Ricky (Glenn Stott). There’s also a touchy projectionist Jeff (Robbie Tann).
They are in good spirits as they have been granted a free film to watch after the cinema closes. However as they prepare to close they find a drunk old man in the auditorium who escapes them and tearing down a curtain reveals a door that leads them down to another auditorium, doors and storerooms, where there find an old film.
Curiosity aroused they watch the film. It’s a trippy, psychedelic poor-quality affair that has a ritual being played out with runes, candles and the usual paraphernalia. A woman is summoned (Katelyn Pearce) and as soon as she starts to strip, Jeff pulls the film only for Todd to crank it up again, this completing the ritual.
As the things start to get weird, and the woman appears to them in various guises, tempting and seducing them with unpleasant results. It’s while fending off what they now know to be a succubus, that the characters start to open up amongst themselves, sharing their perceived problems and secrets.
Debut director Keola Racela has grafted a visually pleasing collision of US grungy, grindhouse and the bright psychedelic colours of the more trippy films of the late 60's. Its themes though are far more contemporary with characters taunted for their sexuality and desires complicated by the supposed guidance from the church. Writers Matt Black and Laurence Vannicelli haven't shied away from probing some difficult issues and making their points.
The cast are all very good generating genuine empathy for their characters and their situations. And while there's a hard core here, there’s also a levity skimming throughout the whole film that’s quite fun but doesn’t compromise the serious issues or the horror.