Two friends get more than they bargained for when they accept two free passes to a movie screening. Soon, the horror spills from the screen into the theater and no one may make it out alive!
Admiring some of the props in the gothic theater’s lobby, one unlucky patron cuts her face on a strange-looking mask. Soon after the film begins, she transforms into a demon and begins to spread her curse to the other patrons trapped inside. The rest band together to fight off the ever-growing horde and try to find a way out.
Co-written by Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento, this film has become one of the “must see” films in the Italian horror genre. It’s cheesy and whether or not it holds up today is up to debate, but it’s a fun little horror flick. It’s hard not to appreciate a film that features a hero wielding a sword, riding around on a dirt bike through the aisles of the theater, chopping up demons. It features one of the more ridiculous deus ex machina resolutions (SPOILER ALERT: having a helicopter randomly fall through the ceiling, complete with grappling hook set up so the survivors can escape the building through the roof?), and a completely obvious “twist” (which I’m not sure even makes sense), but the ultimate resolution is the sort of impending dread that makes so many of the classic Italian films great.