A moviegoer passed out last night during a midnight screening of the genre film V/H/S. EMTs came, say sources close to the film. I’m told the guy who passed out–during the first particularly gruesome scene–was embarrassed and didn’t want to leave but was encouraged to by his girlfriend. He returned to meet the film’s directors, Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence. Another moviegoer was apparently treated for nausea 20 minutes later. This is the second festival in a row where a hard-edged horror film caused moviegoers to faint. At Toronto, two audience members passed out during The Incident, a hardcore horror film about three struggling musicians who moonlight as cooks in a high security insane asylum, only to see the cells open during a storm. One person fainted when one of the cooks was tied to a stove top and burned alive. The film sold for distribution right after to IFC Midnight. While these reactions are not desirable for films in other categories–though I’ll never forget when the New York Film Festival premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction was temporarily halted when a moviegoer fainted after John Travolta plunged an adrenaline needle into Uma Thurman’s chest–I wonder if this is going to become the Good Housekeeping seal for festival midnight horror films looking for distribution deals. V/H/S is about a group of misfits hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house to acquire a rare VHS tape, and discover more found footage than they bargained for.
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