Review: Psychophony – An Experiment in Evil / Cert: TBC / Director: Xavier Berraondo / Screenplay: Xavier Berraondo / Starring: Ferran Albiol, Dafniz Balduz / Release Date: TBC
Something my spellcheck and I have in common: neither of us thought ‘psychophony’ was a real thing. But it is, and it’s the subject of this Spanish horror film, subtitled An Experiment in Evil. Positing that some cases of schizophrenia are indicative of paranormal activity, a doctor conducts the titular experiment, using a young girl as his test subject.
Because no film of our time can involve spooks or paranormal activity without getting the handheld camcorders involved, he records some of it too. Thankfully, Psychophony is not a found footage movie, merely using its segments of ‘real’ recordings to punctuate the real story; a slow, occasionally dull spook feature enlivened by several genuinely creepy moments and some inventive pieces of imagery during its faster paced second half.
Where the first act is slow and uninspired, the second kicks into loud overdrive – more cacophony than psychophony – making up for its lack of originality with plenty of things going bump in the night, and one particularly odd sequence involving a mattress and a girl that wouldn’t have gone amiss in a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel. There’s nothing here that you’ll remember a week from now, but nor is it bad either. Psychophony is merely middling, inoffensive and a little cheap. Distributed by US company Chemical Burn, along with their other titles America’s Alien Invasion and Bordello Death Tales, you’d be forgiven for passing it up, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it could have been.
Update: a ‘psychophony’ is definitely a real thing. A spiritual term, referring to the way a spirit talks, using a medium as its voice (like Derek Acorah, except not fake). So now we know.