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Exclusive photos, plus trailer, poster and comments: Israeli horror movie “FREAK OUT”

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Following RABIES, BIG BAD WOLVES and JERUZALEM from the burgeoning Israeli fright-film scene is FREAK OUT, which is currently making the festival rounds. Director Boaz Armoni sent along a couple of exclusive pics and some words on the movie, and we’ve got the trailer and poster to show you as well.

Following its premiere at last year’s Sitges film festival, FREAK OUT has recently been selected by Brazil’s Fantaspoa Film Fest and will have its Canadian premiere at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival on Saturday, May 14. As opposed to the grim demeanor of the above-mentioned features, this one adds a comic edge to its horror, along with social commentary. The synopsis: “The film tells the story of Matan, a soldier with an administrative role in the IDF, who is sent for a week of patrolling at a remote army base in the north of Israel. Suffering from homesickness and feeling out of his depth, Matan becomes an easy target for the other soldiers who take great pleasure in provoking him. However, it is not long before strange things happen at the base, leaving all the soldiers shaking in their boots.”

“The film deals with the Israeli military experience, an experience that is terrifying, humorous in a dark way and, at times, includes an element of thrill,” Armoni says. “Over the course of the film, Matan undergoes a transformation into ‘a man,’ at least by army standards. The film presents the army as a ‘rite of passage’ that carries substantial social significance in Israeli society, signifying the transition from boy to man. Violence and killing become intrinsic values in the process of transition from adolescence to adulthood within Israeli society. The movie also deals with the Israeli fear of Arabs and Islamic terrorism, a fear shared more recently with societies in Europe and North America.”

The filmmaker also notes that FREAK OUT draws from his own personal experience. “The film describes social phenomena and behaviors that I remember from my military service. I hope that my identification with the protagonist and the rest of the characters will pass to the viewers as well, and that the movie will provide an alternative perspective on Israeli society. It was important for me to create a film that maintains the Israeli feel, inside a genre that is considered ‘inferior’ where I come from. FREAK OUT was influenced mostly by horror and thriller movies from the ’70s, and also relates to renowned Israeli genres such as army comedies and even ‘Bourekas’ films [ethnic comedies/melodramas] from the ’70s and ’80s.”

We’ll keep you posted on when FREAK OUT will make its way to U.S. fest play and release!

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About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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