A controversial new British horror film will attempt to overcome its ‘curse’ when it debuts at Cannes Film Festival next week.
The Lucifer Effect, premiering on May 16, follows the progress of eight participants placed in a ‘haunted’ insane asylum in Lincolnshire for an unscripted psychological experiment.
Several cast members have been hospitalised with others receiving counselling and treatment for depression since filming ended.
Footage was also seized by Lincolnshire police after one participant attempted to strangle another during filming.
The film explores the Lucifer Effect – a psychological consequence that is said to occur when ‘good’ people are given power over others.
Participants were told they had won a part in a film but not that they were being involved in a psychological experiment.
Reports of the curse reportedly surfaced due to footage of disturbing events which occurred when participants in the film held a Ouija board session during their stay in the asylum.
The film also uses subliminal imagery and has a secondary storyline interwoven in hidden frame and is said to be the first feature film in the world to use this technology.
Professor Phillip Zimbardo developed the theory behind the effect with his prison study in the 1970s and wrote the book the film is derived from.
The University of Manchester’s drama department runs a module which explores the ideas behind the book.
Student, Sally Bradford, said: “I have caught myself in the process of dehumanising others, considering others as ‘them’ and been given an opportunity to change my thinking.”
Miss Bradford studied the text as part of a drama module exploring the dramatisation of prison life for the stage and screen.
“The main message for me was that I am basically average and therefore would probably capable of great evil given the right circumstances,” she added.
For more information about the film and to see the trailer visit http://www.thelucifereffectmovie.com