BY BILLY SUTER
SOUTH African streaming service, Showmax, has introduced to its menu two new South African horror movies, both Showmax originals – Jaco Bouwer’s Rage and Beer Adriaanse’s Parable, both produced by Nagvlug Films. These films mark the streaming service’s first foray into commissioning horror movies.
“We’ve had a great response to hit international horrors like Hereditary, It and Pet Sematary on Showmax, so we’re excited to see how South African audiences respond when the frights are closer to home.” says Candice Fangueiro, head of content at Multichoice’s Connected Video, which houses Showmax and DStv Now.
In Rage, a group of school-leavers descend on a tiny coastal town for a celebration of their freedom. Roxy, Sihle, Kyle, Leon, Tamsyn and Neo party on the beach and drink themselves silly every night.
The townsfolk, Hermien and her son Albert, are welcoming – maybe too welcoming.
During a psychedelic trip on the beach, the friends witness a disturbing birth ritual, which could be a hallucination, or not. Soon fertility figurines start to appear at random places, and what is supposed to be the best holiday of their lives turns to horror as the teenagers are picked off one by one.
Nicole Fortuin, whose previous film, Flatland, opened the Berlin Panorama, stars as Tamsyn, with The Girl From St Agne’ breakout stars, Jane de Wet and Tristan de Beer, as Roxy and Kyle.
Two-time Silwerskerm winner Carel Nel (Dwaalster, Hum, Slaaf) appears as Albert; Sihle Mnqwazana, who co-wrote and acted in The Fall, a New York Times critic’s choice play, plats Neo; Shalima Mkongi (Isithembiso, Nkululeko, Keeping Score) plays Sihle; and Fiesta, Kanna and Fleur du Cape nominee David Viviers (Kanarie) plays Leon.
Rage is directed by Jaco Bouwer, a multi-award-winning theatre director who’s one of three Best Director nominees in the drama series category at the 2020 Saftas, for Dwaalster. His short film, this country is lonely, premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2018 and he also directed Die Spreeus, one of the 10 most-watched local series on Showmax in 2019.
Jane de Wet has another starring role in the Showmax Original horror, Parable. She plays Esther, a teenage girl forced into gay conversion therapy.
When a famous lay preacher, Reverend Randal Day, accidentally conjures a demonic spirit while trying to ‘cure’ her, he tries to hide his mistake in a church house deep within a security complex.
The gated community is home to Kasper, a slacker with a recently tarnished reputation, who starts getting dream visits from the missing girl in the news – and she wants his help to escape.
Fleur du Cap winner Michael Richard (Still Breathing, Disgrace) and newcomer Jay Hlatshwayo co-star as Reverend Day and Kasper respectively, with Carla Classen (Stroomop, Fiela Se Kind) as Lina, Thapelo Aphiri (Scandal) as Julian, and Danny Meaker as Lloyd.
Parable marks the feature film directorial debut of Beer Adriaanse, who wrote, directed and acted in Buurtwag; was nominated for a Safta for co-writing Hotel; and has starred in everything from Fynskrif to Hotel, Kanarie to Wonderlus, which earned him the Silwerskerm award for Best Supporting Actor.
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