TYPE: Feature Film GENRE: Horror / Giallo Exploitation
DURATION: 86 Minutes TARGET AUDIENCE: Young Adults / Adults
FILM LOCATION: NEW ORLEANS, USA LANGUAGE: English
PRODUCERS: Carolina Brasil | Anselmo Martini | Daniel Figueiredo
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Stone Horus Media | XpandFilms
WRITERS: Justin Groetsch, Gleyson Spadetti, Philippe Bastos, Gary Landi
Trapped in the evil web of a 19th-century sorceress's curse, a time-traveling axe murderer lands in 1975, Louisiana as the malevolent instrument of her revenge sent to deliver blood-soaked retribution on an unsuspecting group of people attending a midnight showing of an obscure horror movie cult classic.
What would you do if you were granted the power to witness and feel your darkest side through someone else’s eyes?
Life is challenging, and many people go through it without fully realizing the impact of the wounds and scars it leaves on them. We are unable to control unforeseen twists, becoming vulnerable prey to unimaginable pressures every moment. However, all it often takes is a trigger, a spark, or a provocation for us to dive deep into our shadows and transform into merciless hunters.
During a movie screening, a man confronts his inner demons as he becomes haunted by a cursed film. Cornering the other spectators with his murderous fury, he experiences an unprecedented sense of power flowing from the blood of each of his victims—a sensation he has never encountered before.
Inspired by Grindhouse Cinema and the Midnight Screening boom of the 70s, when glamorous neighborhood cinemas opened their doors to exploitation cult films, "Panic At The Theater" is a tribute to fans of Giallo and Italian Horror, two feverish genres of that era. With their perversion and daring aesthetics, these unusual films explored rarely visited and widely feared places of the human soul, unveiling odd pleasures and dangerous obsessions.
What would happen if we were ensnared by one of these movies, uncovering the latent power of our dark side?
The Diamond Theater, established in the 1970s, has a reputation as the site of a 1940s massacre. However, today it remains merely an urban legend, its authenticity shrouded in uncertainty. In 1975, during a Midnight Screening of the very film shown on the night of the massacre, a small group of audience members encounter an admission ticket that will cost them their lives.
Enchanted by the movie unfolding on the cinema screen, a man will dive into the depths of his most perverse desires, exposing a sinister side that incites panic in everyone who dares to venture into that movie theater on that dreaded night.
“THE HOUR OF
THE DARK SHADOW”
In the small town of North Bayle, Louisiana, on The Day of the Dead in 1975, within the enigmatic Diamond Theater, a peculiar assembly of moviegoers convenes for a midnight screening of the obscure cult horror film, "The Hour of the Dark Shadow.” Little do they know, that their choice will plunge them into an inescapable nightmare that transcends time itself.
The Diamond Theater, a forgotten relic of the Art Deco era, casts an eerie presence. Its very air holds the weight of a tormented history, exuding a palpable malevolence. As the film's ominous scenes unravel on the screen, dormant secrets from a shared dark past surge to life through haunting flashbacks that bind the lives of those assembled.
David Hill, an avid horror movie fan, is drawn by curiosity to the film's myth, and the misguided notion of a transcendent, metaphysical experience. Accompanying him, albeit reluctantly, is the ever-so-serious Emmy Rogers, David’s sometimes girlfriend, and Nancy Coleman, Emmy's free-spirited college roommate.
Joe Welsh, a down-on-his-luck writer, has been lured to North Bayle by a haunting encounter with a mysterious woman who spun him a chilling tale about both a gypsy camp massacre and the movie. Hired to review the film after pitching the tale to Fangoria magazine, little does he know, he's walking right into a real-life horror story.
Meanwhile, Mark Doucet and Sue LeBlanc, a young teenage couple, sneak into the theater, propelled by Mark's insatiable curiosity about the theater's own dark history and a legend of past murders, which traces back four decades.
As the projector whirs to life, a haunting aura settles over the theater. Unsettling flashbacks flicker upon the aged and crackling 35mm acetate, exposing the deep-seated secrets that time had buried, connecting the lives of these unsuspecting viewers to their shared, sinister roles in the massacre that took place decades earlier in 1895.
At the epicenter of the unfolding calamity stands Frank Brows, an unassuming figure shackled to a gypsy woman’s prophecy. But Frank is not alone. Lurking in the shadows is the enigmatic Hellen Harris, Welsh’s mystery woman with a haunted history of her own that connects her to Frank and his past.
As Frank and Hellen converge on the theater, their true natures are revealed when Hellen’s sorcery transforms Frank into The Executioner - an ax-wielding instrument of her vengeance. Together, their malevolent alliance awakens a force that will stop at nothing to bring judgment upon the guilty souls assembled in the theater, as each character is forced to confront their actions in the past and the awakened evil.
Trapped inside the theater’s auditorium, Welsh is the first to see his past come back to haunt him when The Executioner hurls his ax across the theater, dealing Welsh a fatal blow to his chest. David, entranced by his own dark past unfolding on the movie screen in front of him, is next to fall victim to the ax's swing, his head severed in horror.
Amid the pandemonium, Mark, Sue, Emmy, and Nancy scramble to escape through locked auditorium doors. When the Executioner closes in on Mark and Sue, they narrowly evade his ax, breaking free into the lobby and aiming for the basement door from which they entered. Meanwhile, Emmy and Nancy dash for cover behind the movie screen, which leads them deeper into the theater's deepest depths and their tragic end when they become imprisoned within the projection room as maleficent green flames engulf them.
After a harrowing pursuit through the lobby, Mark and Sue find themselves hiding in the basement, believing they've eluded The Executioner. But their respite is short-lived as an ancient movie projector awakens, casting spectral images of their involvement in the camp massacre. Blinded by their haunting past, Mark's reckoning unfolds under The Executioner's ax, his fate sealed in a chilling retribution. Sue, however, manages a fleeting escape, racing through the basement's labyrinthine corridors before engaging in a do-or-die showdown with The Executioner - her fate hanging by a thread and shrouded in uncertainty as we fade to black.
In a gripping finale, the truth emerges – a truth stained with blood, haunted by guilt, and etched in darkness. Frank and Hellen’s sinister histories are revealed and "Panic at the Theater '' culminates in a collision of time, guilt, and malevolence — a tale where darkness reigns supreme and escape is a distant dream.
"Panic at the Theater" is a horror and fantasy film that departs from the nostalgic charm of Grindhouse movies, delving into the intricate depths of the human mind’s darkest labyrinths.
This film creatively incorporates cinematographic language and meta-language, constructing itself entirely upon references from the rich history of cinema and horror films.
"Zara" is a character from the film within the film. She is an illusionist, portraying characters from the beginning of cinema history. "The Hour of the Dark Shadow" is a terrifying classic by Béla Lugosi and Boris Karloff.
Helen Harris embodies the archetype of a typical Giallo movie heroine, while Frank, known as The Executioner, portrays a murderer whose modus operandi draws references from Film Exploitation. The script draws inspiration from horror and exploitation films that left an indelible mark on the popular imagination during the 1970s and 1980s. It also draws from enduring urban legends associated with this genre of films, which continue to captivate the minds of both young people and adults. Additionally, the film draws inspiration from Italian Horror, paying homage to masters such as Mario Bava.
It's like a thrill ride on a ghost train in an amusement park that will make you yearn for the thrill of fear all over again.
The film will be presented in a live-action feature format, entirely shot in the United States. The footage will be captured in meticulously selected locations, both outfitted spaces and studios, to authentically represent the ambiance of Grindhouse Cinema, Giallo Movies, and Italian Horror from the mid-1970s.
The film will have a premiere in theaters, as well as be available on digital video and on-demand platforms. A comprehensive publicity campaign and a dedicated press office will be employed to promote the film. Investors will receive a 15% premium on their total cash investment as equity investment, entitling them to a share of the net profits proportionate to their invested funds. The expected return on investment (ROI) is anticipated within 12 months.
THE EXECUTIONER (45) is a complex character central to “The Hour of the Dark Shadow'' movie’s sinister narrative. Frank's seemingly unassuming demeanor belies his deeply malevolent nature. His role is intricately connected to Hellen Harris, serving as the instrument of her vengeance in response to the gypsy camp massacre. As The Executioner, he embodies the gypsy woman's ominous prophecy, wielding his axe as a relentless force of retribution. Frank's actions and relentless pursuit of the characters thrust them into a nightmarish web of past sins and present terror.
HELLEN HARRIS / THE SORCERESS (35) is a mysterious and enigmatic character who possesses an otherworldly allure that is at the heart of the movie's chilling tale. She bears an Orbis tattoo of a circle within a triangle on the back of her hand, symbolizing her connection to the 19th-century gypsy camp massacre. Her sorcery ensnares Frank, compelling him to carry out the Diamond Theater massacre on her behalf. Her presence in both the past and present blurs the lines between reality and the supernatural, making her a formidable and haunting figure.
JOE WELSH (60s) is a down-on-his-luck writer whose presence in the Diamond Theater adds an intriguing layer to the unfolding horror. On the surface, he’s at the theater to cover the mysterious late-night screening for Fangoria magazine. But in truth, he was compelled to attend after a chance encounter with Hellen. His character brings a sense of skepticism and worldly weariness to the group, making him both an observer and a participant in the unfolding nightmare. As the horrors of the past and present collide, Joe must confront not only the malevolent force within the theater but also his own demons.
DAVID HILL (20s) is a passionate horror movie geek driven by a genuine curiosity for the The Hour of the Dark Shadow’s rumored occult powers, firmly believing in its dark mystique. As Emmy's sometimes boyfriend, he is the catalyst for the group's ill-fated trip to the Diamond Theater, and his passion often clashes with her apprehension. Like the others, he possesses a mysterious past connection to the gypsy camp massacre.
NANCY COLEMAN (20s) Emmy’s sharp-tongued and free-spirited roommate. Her skepticism about the movie's powers often puts her at odds with David's belief and Emmy's apprehension.There's an underlying tension between Emmy and Nancy, possibly fueled by jealousy and a complex history, hinting at a deeper, more intimate relationship. Her and Emmy’s connection to the gypsy camp massacre embroils them in the theater's horrors.
Emily ROGERS (20s) is a more reserved character, deeply connected to the gypsy camp massacre through her mysterious past. She carries a sense of unease about the movie, knowing that it holds dark secrets that she might be reluctant to uncover. Emmy's seriousness and deep-seated apprehension contrast with the more free-spirited Nancy.
ZARA, THE GYPSY WOMAN (50s) seductive and beautiful, her tragic death at the hands of Frank serves as the catalyst that propels the curse and sets the malevolent forces into motion. She is a pivotal character in the gruesome events that unfold, intertwining her destiny with The Hour of the Dark Shadow’s history. Zara's character is shrouded in enigma, with an eerie presence that lingers, haunting the very core of the story.
MARK DOUCET (late teens) is an amateur sleuth with an intense fascination for the dark legend surrounding the Diamond Theater. His obsession with the theater's grisly history drives him to sneak into the screening. Inquisitive and somewhat stubborn, Mark represents the group's quest for uncovering the truth. His and Sue’s involvement in the past horrors is a haunting legacy that drives his obsession.
SUE LeBLANC (late teens) Mark’s girlfriend, is a naive and trusting character who accompanies Mark out of affection and curiosity. Although she initially lacks Mark's intrigue for the Diamond Theater's gruesome past, she finds herself entangled in the unfolding horrors. Her character undergoes significant development as she transforms from a passive bystander into a survivor, thrust into the midst of a malevolent force that challenges her innocence.
STORY & PRODUCER
Daniel Figueiredo is a renowned music producer and entrepreneur, recognized as one of Brazil's most accomplished music score composers. He has composed music scores for over 20 TV series, which have been broadcast in more than 150 countries, in addition to numerous films. Notable among his achievements are the successful soundtracks for telenovelas such as “The Mutants: Pathways of the Heart,” “Opposite Lives,” “The Law and The Crime,” “Joseph from Egypt,” “The Promised Land,” and the phenomenal success “Moses and the Ten Commandments.”
Carolina Brasil was born in Rio de Janeiro and graduated from the University of Miami in 2007. In that same year, she founded a clothing company. As a promising new designer, she was invited to showcase her brand on the runway at Nolcha NY Fashion Week, where she garnered attention as a rising star in the fashion industry. Since then, her brand has gained recognition in the United States for its innovative collections.
Anselmo Martini is a Brazilian-American producer, director, and experienced attorney who has worked in prominent law firms in Brazil, New York, and Los Angeles. With a wealth of knowledge in law, international affairs, and business, Martini has established his expertise in these fields. He has also been affiliated with the prestigious advertising group, WPP Group, located on Madison Avenue. In Los Angeles, Martini founded the Monarca Group and co-founded Stone Horus Media, while in Brazil, he established Monarca Filmes.