If you believe that a theatre performance cannot be truly scary because The Woman in Black left you unimpressed and Ghost Stories was only slightly frightening, you should see Jakop Ahlborn’s homage to the horror-movie genre: a truly gruesome and genuinely terrifying show – but also quite funny.
Imagine a deserted mansion in the woods. A young woman arrives with two men during a heavy thunderstorm. They are wearing identical red rain capes and seem to settle in quite well at first. Yet unbeknownst to us, this is the woman’s former childhood home where she used to live with her cruel parents and her strange sister. As the suppressed past forces itself back into her memories, the young woman has to face some terrible truths and literally fight her demons.
Ghosts appear and disappear through walls or into thin air. A revenant crawls across the floor, contorting her body into a spider-like creature, emitting ghoulish sounds. Electrical appliances switch themselves on and off – the TV is suddenly showing the man sitting in front of it and the room instead of the regular program, and on TV he is not alone. And there are these unpredictable freaked out noises that turn your blood to ice. The gentleman next to me is crouching in his seat, covering his ears or all of his head most of the time.
Referencing a whole catalogue of chilling and thrilling classics such as The Shining, The Orphanage, Rosemary’s Baby , Poltergeist, Evil Dead, and The Exorcist, Swedish born Jakop Ahlborm creates a veritable horror fest with the effective use of lighting, sound, fantastic illusions, dance, and very talented performers, who are able to contort their bodies into unbelievable shapes. The girl’s parents appear, dressed in period clothes, to the unsettling melody of “Ase’s Death” as she relives her childhood trauma. Body parts are crawling across the floor as an axe wielding maniac chases those who are still alive. At times one feels like the scientist in Cabin in the Woods when the monsters are let loose at once.
This atmospheric show is the best ghost train ride you have ever experienced. 4/5
Review written by Carolin Kopplin
Horror was shown on 25th and 26th January as part of this year’s London International Mime Festival. For more information on the production, visit here…