I am a horror junkie through and through. While most of my friends gravitate towards different genres of film, I am firmly in favor of terrifying movies. Horror is the perfect genre. The good is good, and the bad is, well, good in my opinion. From Argento to Ti West, I have seen it all and made my opinion known online. I frequent horror sites as well as peruse r/horror always looking for that new thrill. What I have discovered in light of the events that I am about to unfold, my thirst for the macabre begins and ends with celluloid.
It all began with an email I received last Tuesday. My inbox is full of offers and spam from the various horror sites that I have registered to. However, something about this email stood out. It was so effectively creepy and off the wall that it immediately piqued my interest. I have posted it below for reference.
Your is welcome to come to 2486 Dirlact Lane. I direktor of Vain Death will screen mi new movie and be a question answers. Feautures are meening. Life is propigation of blod. Blod is best. Blod is good and blod is all. Lifeforce and want subjwgate themselvs to will power and the letting. Next Thersday at midnite.
This email blew my mind on many accounts. Right off the bat, I knew that address. That cinema had shut down years ago. When I was a child, it was the budget cinema for my area. It used to play movies that had left theaters but had not quite made it onto VHS yet. But also, it would frequently have festivals. Namely, horror festivals would screen there when I was too young to secure a ticket. Also, the awful grammar and bizarre nature of the email made me excited that I was going to see something new and different. Given the name of the director, which I googled to no avail, I was expecting some warped Eastern European shit a la A Serbian Film.
I talked to all of my friends, and none were interested. Forwarding the email to many of them had the opposite effect I had intended. They pointed out how weird the whole thing was and that that theater had shut down years ago. Also, they mentioned how there was no trace of this guy anywhere on the internet. Despite their protests, I was too intrigued to not go, which in retrospect, was the worst decision of my life. I drove to the theater two days ago by myself arriving promptly at 11:50.
I immediately began to regret my decision. The theater was in a very secluded area of my town. It was a small oasis of concrete in the middle of a heavily forested area. As I pulled up to the theater, I was immediately alarmed by the lack of vehicles in the lot. I was literally the only car pulling into the parking lot. As I exited my vehicle, I surveyed the entrance to the theater. It seemed abandoned. It was pitch black inside. It was abundantly clear that it hadn't been maintained in years. This all added to the creepy ambiance I was hoping for the evening, but something about this really screamed foul. I turned to return to my car. That is when the lights turned on in the cinema.
I decided to go through with it. My curious nature was getting the better of me as I strolled up to the seemingly neglected building. I was almost surprised that the door gave way emitting an ominous creek as it provided me entrance.
I entered to find the box office abandoned. Confusion began to set in until I saw that the marque on theater one was illuminated. Letters were arranged above the theater to indicate that Vain Death was indeed screening in there. I was hoping to buy some popcorn having not eaten that evening, but there was nothing but cobwebs manning the concession stand. I convinced myself that the abandoned cinema look was all a part of the ambiance that the theater was trying to establish for this screening.
I entered theater one. Inside I saw it was empty and sparsely lit. I took a seat in the back and marveled again at the lack of maintenance therein. This place could really use a renovation I considered. Then I surmised that this place must exclusively exist to screen obscure horror films and the mood was definitely set by its current condition. I looked around the dark theater to realize I was the only one seated in the auditorium. Then, the film began.
The addition of the faint light emanating from the screen informed me that I wasn't alone. A man in a black suit entered the auditorium and took a seat in the front row. I assumed this was the director and actually pitied him since only one person had attended the screening of his film that he must have worked so hard on. Not that I was expecting previews or a cavalcade of production companies to begin the film, but my thoughts scattered as the movie started almost immediately after a brief countdown.
The movie began with a stationary shot and no set up whatsoever. It was of a camera sitting in the corner of a bedroom. Pointed toward a man and a woman having a conversation. My immediate thought was that the sound quality on this movie was abysmal. This is an understatement. I had to focus as hard as I could to make out what was being said. To say I understood a quarter of the words spoken is being generous. Also, the film quality was extremely sub par and the positioning of the camera was way too far away from the "action" as well as out of focus. It was jarring to say the least to see such shoddy filmaking, but I gave the director the benefit of the doubt. This could be the mood he was trying to invoke, a grainy and poorly mixed film.
The conversation between the man and the woman (at first, I could barely glean their gender by their voices combined with the grainy and out of focus images on the screen) went on and on. Due to the poor quality of the sound, I could barely understand what was being said. The woman seemed to be sufficiently scared from what I could gather. She mentioned ropes which cued me into to the fact that she may be tied to the chair. About five minutes in, I could hear a baby crying. I noticed that there was what could be a part of a crib in the opposite corner of the room.
As boredom began to set in, I noticed that the figure in black had moved a couple rows backwards in the theater. It was too dark to be sure, but I was convinced he was staring at me intently.
The conversation continued with the camera remaining stationary. The few words I could make out were: actress, movie, amateur, and blood. Lots of mentions of blood was the only thing I could be 100% on.
Then the man in the film picked up the camera and moved it closer. As he set it down, he brought it into focus. Things began to become more clear both visually and aurally. If anything, now the sound was too loud. The woman was in absolute hysterics and the babies screaming screeched through the speakers. The man's voice was clearly foreign with a heavy Eastern European accent. The shot now just contained the woman as she sat next to the crib now clearly occupied by a baby. At first I thought, wow, what a great actress, but looking into her eyes the horror of the situation truly began to dawn on me.
This was not acting.
At the same time, I couldn't help but notice that the other denizen of the theater was now sitting two rows in front of me. His eyes intently staring at me as the action unfolded on screen.
The woman began to plead for her baby's life. She repeated that she never signed up for this. She screamed that she was not an actress. The man took the seat next to her. As her cries began to sink in, the veracity of her emotional pleas chilled me to the bone, The man reached into his pocket and grabbed a razor. In one swift movement he sliced the woman's throat.
Blood began to poor profusely from the woman's neck. The man reached in and began to lick the blood gushing from the gaping wound in her neck as he erotically rubbed it all over his now naked person. He stood over her fading body and began to aggressively punch her in the face as the camera couldn't help but capture the man's now bloody and erect penis. The horror I was experiencing was indescribable, but reached unimaginable heights by what I witnessed next.
The man, naked and covered in blood from head to toe from the now clearly deceased woman, grabbed the baby from the crib. He held it longingly and gazed into its perfectly innocent eyes and kissed it on the forehead. In one fell swoop the man grabbed the infant by its legs and swung it around while moving off camera. Until my dying day, I will be thankful I did not see the baby's head make contact with the brick wall. But the sound is indelible and will remain with me forever. It was the unmistakable pop and crackle of a bone breaking followed by a slight hissing noise. Which I could only assume was pressure allowing the brain to exit its formally sound sanctuary.
The horror of all this had kept me glued to my seat and my unwavering eyes staring at the massacre playing out on screen. As I finally brought my gaze down to see where the other man in the theater was, he was nowhere to be found.
I couldn't help but look back up towards the screen to see the man covered in blood and brain matter approaching the camera with unblinking eyes. His gaze was incredibly blank, but had the unmistakeable taint of insanity and indifference.
That is when I felt the breath on the nape of my neck.
I turned around to see the man in the theater was the same person on the screen. Wordlessly, he stared at me with those same depraved eyes. His eyes alive and wanton. He reached over the seat and began to place something in my pocket. I was literally frozen in place, too frightened to move or react. Beholden to my fear, I accepted whatever he placed in my pocket. He quickly exited the theater, and I was left alone.
As the movie remained in the same stationary shot as the murderer had seemingly left the scene, I decided I was going to get the fuck out of there. I made a beeline from the lobby out the entrance and into my car.
I didn't have the courage to read the note the director had put in my pocket until I got home. It reads,
I am hapy you enjoye my film. Shooting of my next feauture Vain Death 2 begin at 8:00 PM Saturday. For movie to be reel I apprecate haveing ameteur actors and look forwerd to working with yu. Blod is good... blod is god.
It is 7:54 right now
Written by Dr VonHugenstein
Original Post: NoSleep
Narration: NoSleep Podcast S2E12