Michael Rice previews The Curse of Styria, which screens on Friday, 24th October 2014 at 6pm at Dublin’s Screen Cinema as part of the Bram Stoker Festival.
The Curse of Styria, which will be premiering this Friday at the Screen Cinema, has many links to Ireland, none more prominent than the fact that it was inspired by Carmilla, the seminal 19th century vampire tale by Irish author Sheridan LeFanu. The Irish connection doesn’t stop there, as the film stars one of our finest actors in Stephen Rea.
The film is the first feature-length film from the directors, Mauricio Chernovetzky and Mark Devendorf, after their first collaboration, their short film Cassandra, was nominated for a student academy award. With this feature, the pair explore a lot of the same themes, such as childhood trauma, rites of passage, and the shadows of the unconscious.
The narrative of the film follows Lara (Eleanor Tomlinson) and her estranged father Dr. Hill (Rea) as they travel beyond the Iron Curtain. While there, Lara witnesses a car crash, and befriends Carmilla, a girl who survives the crash. As the relationship between the two girls intensifies, madness descends over the young women of Styria, with many of their dead bodies being found from apparent suicides. Lara must discover if Camilla is involved, or if there is a darker secret being hidden by the town of Styria.
The film’s directors have chosen to examine the Vampire myth in a new way, by exploring the far more subtle, psychological real phenomenon of suicide clusters, as opposed to the Hollywood idea of wooden stakes. This is equally interesting, and eerie, and it makes for compelling watching to see the clever way in which the directors incorporate real-life phenomena into a supernatural world.
The cast is excellent with Eleanor Tomlinson giving a superb performance alongside Stephen Rea. Eleanor will be familiar to many mainstream moviegoers with roles in Jack the Giant Slayer and The Illusionist.
For fans that will be attending the Bram Stoker Festival this weekend, this is a gripping dark fantasy that is not to be missed.
The Bram Stoker Festival runs from 24th – 27th October around Dublin.