It’s been said that horror is possibly one of the most formulaic genres in filmmaking and that wouldn’t be too far from the truth. There’s so many established tropes in horror production – the frequent jump scares, the final girl, the indestructible killer – that watching horror movies can all too often be a pretty predictable experience.
But every so often there comes along a horror movie so trope-defying, so weird and so removed from the realm of formulaic genre films that even us horror fans who think we’ve seen it all are left scratching our heads.
The films coming up are those types of horrors – those twisted mind-benders so perplexing and bizarre they leave us wondering what the hell just assaulted our senses.
Just a head’s up: if power drill penises, cannibal pianos and god disembowelling himself is too weird for you, maybe turn back now.
In 1983, mad scientist Dr Barry Nyle runs the Arboria Institute – a quasi-futuristic, New Age facility apparently dedicated to the pursuit of happiness but actually a front for his nefarious experiments on a young psychic woman named Elena who he keeps captive in a prison-like compound underneath the institute.
As the psychedelic, synth pop backed film unfolds and Elena tries to escape the facility we learn that both she and Dr Nyle are the product of a drug experiment gone wrong conducted by the institute’s founder Dr Mercurio Arboria in the 1960s designed to make them achieve transcendence that made Nyle go insane.
What The Hell It Means
Trippy, incredibly slow-paced and practically plotless, Beyond the Black Rainbow has been dismissed as pretentious arthouse twaddle but director Panos Cosmatos has stated that it’s actually a critique of the Baby Boomer generation’s ideals and its attempts to establish alternative belief systems which Cosmatos views as having corrupted subsequent generations.
So, basically it’s a two-hour long mindf*ck indictment of the generation that buggered up the economy and ruined the planet which is okay by us.