Dir. Quarxx | France | 2023 | 96 mins
Nathan (Hugo Dillon) awakens by the side of the road. His car is mangled; it would appear that a traffic collision has taken place. Bewildered and confused, Nathan is met by Daniel (Arben Bajraktaraj), the motorcyclist who caused the collision, who guides Nathan towards the horrifying realisation that neither of them have survived the incident. This realisation is cemented by the appearance of two mysterious doors in the road, which beckon the men towards their final judgement and corresponding afterlife. Unfortunately for Nathan and Daniel, their actions in life have directed them to the worst possible destination, and they’re not alone upon arrival. Fellow tortured souls include maniacal child-princess Nina and her bloodthirsty companion Tony, and mother and daughter Julia and Chloé, whose tale is one of unimaginable grief and guilt. We are invited to observe these characters as they play out their misadventures and misfortunes in life, before they unite in death for an eternity of pain and suffering.
Weaving together a series of dark and grotesque tales with a unique aesthetic, director Quarxx invites us to descend cinematic circles of hell that are psychologically complex and nuanced, creating a thought provoking yet harrowing portrayal of eternal damnation. With its combination of macabre stories and dark humour, PANDEMONIUM is a compelling triptych, exploring the nature of guilt and punishment while delivering moments of theatrical Grand Guignol-esque surrealist horror.
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