2006, cert 15, running time 84 minutes
Director: Eitan Arrusi
Record. Remix. Unleash.
"Songwriting is about getting the demon out of me. It's like being possessed.”
“… things like witchcraft, which is a form of exploration and imagination, have been banned by the establishment and called `evil’. It’s because people are frightened to find out the full power of the mind.”
Reverb originally grew out of my fascination with the stories and myths in the music business – in particular the myth of a record with a hidden sound buried beneath a normal recording.
Rock ’n’ roll is this amazing fusion of characters who often create their best music out of intense, passionate conflicts. Music is primal; it taps directly into our emotions; it is used in the occult and to enhance altered states. I’d often heard artists talk about their music as if they weren’t in control of it, as if it came from a supernatural place outside of themselves. It started me thinking: what if the thing talking to them was evil?
From these ideas Mark Griffin was born. He embodies for me the dark collision of rock’n’roll and occultism that was spawned in the late Sixties. Hendrix sang Voodoo Child and the Rolling Stones became Their Satanic Majesties, the Beach Boys recorded Charles Manson songs, Jimmy Page wrote scores for avant-garde films like Lucifer Rising and Aleister Crowley appeared on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper album.
What was fascinating about Mark Griffin is that, as I created his ”lost recordings” and avant-garde films, he grew organically into the film. As Alex taps into him (or as he taps into Alex), and as the past and present become fused, Griffin’s presence is drawn more and more into the visual language of the film.
I knew that I wanted to create a thriller. I‘ve always loved Coppola’s The Conversation and the film that inspired it: Antonioni’s Blow Up. In Reverb I want each of the sound fragments and videos to make up ambiguous pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, I trust the audience to build the story and paint images in their own minds. No one knows the “truth” behind supernatural events, we each create our own explanation of what ghosts might be. For me, fear exists in that gap of understanding. Imagine you wake in the middle of the night to a strange sound in your house. The most terrifying moment is the silence of those first minutes – when we don’t know what might be waiting for us.
My desire was to make a film that uses tension and suspense to unsettle. I’ve always loved the Seventies films of Polanski and Argento. At times they develop such a powerful atmosphere of menace that they become waking nightmares. Most horror films scare you because they show the characters reaction to jeopardy. I wanted to go further, to let the audience experience the chaos and disorientation that I imagine having a terrifying supernatural experience is like. It’s not logical or comprehensible, on the contrary, it’s terrifying precisely because you’re in the grip of something overwhelming and unknowable. It should be as visceral and emotional as being at a music gig.
Starring Leo Gregory, Eva Birthistle, Luke de Woolfson, Margo Stilley and Stephen Lord
"slick British horror movie"
Philip French, The Observer
"A fear-drenched, supernatural thriller that rocks!"
Billy Chainsaw, Bizarre
"an exploration of music's power to haunt and a chilling ghost story"
"Hauntingly good. Horror finds a new home - and it's soundproof!"
David Aldridge, BBC 5 Live
"...a terrific performance from Eva Birthistle!"