Remember that old story about theaters back in the day offering vomit bags on the way in to see The Exorcist? There have always been those rare horror movies that built a legend around causing such physical reactions. And now a new horror flick that opened at Sundance is staking out its own claim in the gross-out classics category.
Two people had to be treated by EMTs due to fainting and becoming ill during a midnight screening of the indie horror tale V/H/S last week, after becoming nauseated following a particularly grotesque sequence not long after the film began.
The movie follows a band of criminals hired to steal a rare VHS tape (hence the title). When they arrive, the thieves find a dead body among a pile of creepy tapes—and they have to start watching them all as they search for the right one.
In an interview with MSNBC, co-writer Simon Barrett said the scene in question, where a bone sticks out of a character's skin, would probably cause even the stoutest viewer to get a bit squeamish.
"Without spoiling anything, [the film's first segment] ends with a particularly intense series of scenes that involve, among other things, an injury resulting in a compound fracture that is recorded from the first-person perspective," he said. "[The segment], while very funny in parts, is also quite intense and gory."
After chatting with the couple who had to be treated, Barrett elaborated that the extreme reaction could have also been tied a bit to exhaustion, among other factors.
"I surmised that they were likely tired, dehydrated, hungry and suffering from the altitude adjustment, as pretty much anyone would be after driving eight hours to Park City," he said. "[But] I doubt the couple would have fainted and vomited if they had gone to see [romantic comedy] Your Sister's Sister instead."
The scattered tales of revulsion coming out of Sundance seem to be building some buzz for the flick, as it was recently acquired by Magnolia Pictures for wider distribution.