The crowd woo’d in unison as the lights went down and naturally, the story began in true horror-film style with a group of rain-coated friends seeking shelter in a darkened deserted mansion. What could possibly go wrong?
Things quickly turned weird as crackling televisions and blaring music turned on by themselves, pictures moved involuntarily on walls, and the illuminated cupboard at the end of the loungeroom beckoned the cast towards it with its faint spine-chilling whispers.
Watching a horror film unfold at the cinema is one thing, but translating that into a live performance in all of its hair-raising, unsettling, suspenseful, gory detail is quite the task and one that director Jakop Ahlbom has completely nailed in his theatre production of Horror. Over the last 10 years, he has developed his trademark theatre style which brings together mime, dance, illusion, music and theatre to deliver something truly unique and you can see why he is met with sold-out performances worldwide.
Without a single word of dialogue the eight cast members impressively bring to life the spooky story of a young woman who is no longer able to suppress her painful memories of her abusive past when she returns to her tormented childhood.
The soundtrack jumps you out of your seat with its unexpected screams and slasher-style orchestral pieces and has your skin crawling with the sounds of unnerving whispers, haunting laughter and of course the disturbing jewellery box music.
The simple but impactful scenes flash quickly between the spooky forest, haunting kitchen and eerie loungeroom representing a mix of genres with humorous references to the horror classics of ‘The Exorcist’, ‘The Ring’, ‘The Shining’ and ‘The Blair Witch Project’ to name just a few. The special effects are brilliantly gruesome with dismembered crawling hands, axe-wielding possessed, spinning heads, live disembowelling, disappearing levitating bodies and ceiling high spurting blood.
A deserted mansion, creepy forest, vengeful spirits, spine-tingling music, spurting blood and skilful choreography – Horror had it all. At times it was more funny than horrifying but this vividly entertaining piece of theatre is definitely one to see at Brisbane Festival, especially if you are a horror fan, you won’t see anything else like this live.
Horror opened last night at QPAC Playhouse as part of the Brisbane Festival and is playing for only three more performances, tonight, Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets start from $50 and can be purchased here. Don’t miss this one.