A horror film -- "V/H/S" -- shown at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah last week proved too much to bear for at least two audience members, who ended up requiring medical attention after scenes from the show made them sick.
No, it wasn't someone actually using the archaic form of home theater entertainment that caused the shock, but potentially shaky camera footage -- like that in The Blaire Witch Project -- and other gruesome aspects, according to the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail reports that one man "ran from the cinema screen, collapsed and began to suffer seizures", while his girlfriend "also ran into the lobby and began to vomit." The night before, the Daily Mail points out, another woman allegedly left the theater crying.
MSNBC interviewed the film's co-writer who has more of a description on the scene that could have caused some audience members to run out:
"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," [Simon] Barrett told us. In short: A broken bone pokes through a character's skin, which might disturb even the healthiest viewer.
Barrett said that the segment, "while very funny in parts, is also quite intense and gory," and noted that the film's handheld camera style combined with other factors "can probably be a bit difficult to take."
Some have suggested that the reaction by the audience members was a stunt by the filmmakers but the Los Angeles Times blog reports producer Roxanne Benjamin's tweet as saying the event was real, "scary and not fun, and everyone is grateful the guy and his girlfriend are OK. And they wanted to go back in the theatre!" Benjamin later said that the symptoms of the two were related to "altitude sickness, exhaustion, dehydration and alcohol”.
The premise of "V/H/S", according to Sundance.org, is about a group of criminals hired to enter an abandoned home to retrieve a tape. But, of course, it's not that easy:
In the living room, a lifeless body holds court before a hub of old television sets, surrounded by stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes. As they search for the right one, they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last.
The films watched by the group are a compilation of shorts directed by Adam Wingard, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, David Bruckner, Joe Swanberg and Ti West, and the LA Times reports they are "not for the faint of heart."