Lucifer Effect Trying a Little Too Hard to be Next Found-Footage Phenomenon

Lucifer Effect

With an imminent debut at one of the numerous, unrelated Riviera events orbiting the Cannes Film Festival, The Lucifer Effect has issued a trailer and a press release detailing the horrific, publicity-friendly happenings undergirding what its makers seem to believe will be the industry's next found-footage phenomenon. It has footnotes and everything — as though David Foster Wallace and William Castle collaborated on some sincerely unholy afterlife marketing effort. You should see this! The pitch, that is, not the movie (though maybe that, too).

First the trailer, which was hovering at a very, very spooky 13 views this morning:

And now the press release just over the transom at Movieline HQ, which I really must provide without commentary, if only because it's kind of its own commentary after a while. (To wit, who's a fan of this new number order 1, 6, 3, 5, 2? Never mind.)



Film reported to be ‘cursed’ and contain subliminal messages in a hidden frame storyline

The controversial new British horror movie, THE LUCIFER EFFECT 1 will overcome its alleged ‘curse’ to debut at the Cannes Film Festival next week. The film has been in and out of the headlines following a number of bizarre incidents, disappearances and even police intervention during filming last year.

‘The Lucifer Effect’ first hit the headlines last year when one of the participants 6 was almost throttled by another cast member. Police seized the footage and the film was put on hold.

However, despite the film’s original director 3 also having gone missing, the film has been completed by a new documentary film crew headed by Edward Boon and is now set to premiere at Cannes on 16 May.

The film studies the social condition known as ‘The Lucifer Effect’ 5 - a psychological consequence that is said to occur when ‘good’ people are given power over others in an evil place. The effect was first investigated in the 1970s during the infamous Stanford Prison experiment. The Lucifer Effect producers recreated a modern day equivalent in an abandoned mental asylum 2.

The film also uses subliminal imagery and has a secret secondary storyline interwoven in hidden frames beneath the main storyline – the first feature film in the world believed to use this controversial technology. The use of subliminal scenes has added to the rumours of a curse. Reports of a curse originally surfaced due to the fact that the film features footage of disturbing events which occurred when the participants in the film held a Ouija board session during their brief stay in the asylum. Unlike other films that it has been compared to, such as ‘The Blair Witch Project’ or ‘Paranormal Activity’, the footage and events in ‘The Lucifer Project’ are actually real, there was no script, and the reactions of the participants are genuine, including the unfortunate assault. As a result police in Lincolnshire seized the footage and the film was put on hold, creating a lot of international media attention. The story was also widely covered in the British press.

The film centers around eight people who volunteered for a role in a movie on, only to be locked inside a reportedly haunted mental asylum 2 for three days and nights, with no communication from the outside world and little food to eat.

Since these events, two of the cast have been hospitalized with other cast members receiving counseling and treatment for depression and any possible after effects. All involved had signed release forms and given their consent before entering the asylum, although some of the actors are now looking to sue the film company for false imprisonment. It is reported that some of the cast believe the producers are still pulling their strings one year on.

Adding to the stories of a curse is the fact that the director who oversaw the filming of the original events is also now missing. This is coupled with rumours that one of the actresses has been sectioned in South America.

In order to investigate whether the alleged ‘curse’ can have any effects on the public at large, the film has added an innovative social media angle. When the trailer on the film’s Facebook and social networking pages is viewed, their webcam is activated, thereby involving the viewer in what is seen onscreen. Already, there have been reports of doors mysteriously opening and closing, shadows appearing and lampshades moving in the background.

The producers added the webcam feature after the ‘curse’ reports surfaced to pick up on any paranormal activity once the film trailer had been watched. The producers say if anything interesting or unusual is recorded whilst watching the trailer there is a chance that the recordings will be featured in the final cut of the film when it is released. Watch the trailer here:

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1. For further information and Movie Trailer: [Back]

2. Rauceby Mental Asylum in Quarrington, near Sleaford, Lincolnshire, was originally opened in 1902 as the Kesteven County Asylum, and from 1924-1933 the Kesteven Mental Hospital. In 1940, it was taken over by the RAF and renamed No. 4 RAF Hospital Rauceby with 1,000 beds treating crash and burns victims. The pioneering plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe worked here on members of his so-called “Guinea Pig Club”. The main hall burnt down in 1947 and the RAF handed the premises over to the newly formed National Health Service, which then returned to using it as a mental asylum. The site was closed in 1997 amid allegations of abuse. The site includes two graveyards, a mortuary, and a series of underground tunnels connecting wards. [Back]

3. Original Film Director, Tim Burke was Born 8 May 1979, Kensington, London, UK. Grew up in Bristol, Avon & Somerset. Bought a film camera at the age of 12, and formally learned his trade at the Panico Films School (now part of the London Film Academy), London, where he passed out top of his class. Using his extensive celebrity and entertainment industry contacts, Tim Burke founded the charity BuyaMovieRole, which, in 2010, raised money for charity by auctioning off donated movie roles. [Back]

4. “Enigmatic technique” takes acting improvisation to its extreme and is the complete opposite of the discredited “response directing” where actors are told what they should be feeling. Instead, he keeps actors as much in the dark as possible, as detached as possible from any production crew, then subjects them to frighteningly realistic situations and lets the actors react naturally to whatever happens. In this way, he seeks to film emotions that are genuinely felt rather than put on. The Lucifer Effect was Tim Burke’s first real exploration of this technique. [Back]

5. Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil is the title of an academic textbook for college psychology students by Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus at Stanford University. He is best known for his Stanford Prison Experiment in which 24 normal students were assigned to be either “prisoners” or “guards” in a mock jail set up in the basement of the university’s psychology building. The planned two-week experiment was terminated after just six days due to the emotional trauma suffered by the participants where the “guards” rapidly became sadistic and with the “prisoners” descending into extreme passivity or depression. In 2004, Zimbardo testified for the defense in the court martial of a US military police sergeant guilty of torturing prisoners in Iraq. Zimbardo argued that few people could resist the powerful situational pressures of a prison and that the sergeant should not be given the maximum sentence. He drew on his study of this case to write Lucifer Effect. [Back]

6. Emrhys Cooper, Mohammed Al Turki, Hofit Golan, Natalie Celino, Liziane Villamil, Anouska O’Hara, Ryan Lutz, and Jack Walther all appear as themselves. [Back]



  • Paul says:

    What a great movie

  • Andrew says:

    So not only will it be a found footage bore of whiny non-actors moaning and complaining and going, "OMG WUT WUZ THAT! OMG", but it'll also have headache inducing spastically interjected random frames going flashflashflash every 30 seconds?


    to not see it...