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The Institute

USA 2022
produced by
Chelsea Roth, Artemus Cole, Victorya Brandart, Mark Lobene, Ron Verstappen (executive), Jeff Kirby (executive), Robert Eisenberg (executive), Iram Zaman (executive), Tom West (executive), Veronica Au (executive), Jonathan Sethna (executive) for Kamikaze Dogfight, Headless Films, Whiptail Wallaby Productions, Conducive Productions
directed by Hamza Zaman
starring Ignacyo Matynia, Victorya Brandart, Mark Lobene, Jarred Harper, Joy Donze, Claire McClain, Louisa Bradshaw, Frankie Wang, John Easterlin, Richard Nwaoko, Ginamarie Russo, Annamarie Russo, Naomi Indira, Hamza Zaman, Benjamin Curns, Serial No. 07, Chelsea Roth, Talia Gonzales (voice), Ethan Abramson, Artemus Cole, Alexander Zvyagin, Cyrus Zaman
written by Hamza Zaman, music by Paco Periago, special effects makeup by Beatrice Sniper

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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So far, all of Daniel (Ignacyo Matynia) and Marie's (Victorya Brandart) attempts to get her pregnant only led to one stillborn baby, much heartbreak, and the depressing diagnosis that she'll never be able to conceive again. But Daniel isn't one to give up, and ultimately he finds out about Dr. Lands' (Mark Lobene) holistic (experimental) fertility institute. Now the place is somewhere in the woods in the middle of nowhere, and there's no cellphone service of course, but the atmosphere works wonders for Marie, and she's quick to take to the rather esoteric methods of Dr. Lands and is quick to befriend the other couples in treatment, Steve (Jarred Harper) and Mel (Louisa Bradshaw), and Blu (Joy Donze) and Izzy (Claire McClain). Daniel on the other hand soon finds something off about the place, and finding a hidden camera in his and Marie's bedroom only confirms his suspicions. His secret investigations lead to quite some unsettling findings, including the fact that the offspring that Lands produces in the institute might not be all human - and it's then that he has to learn that Marie is in fact pregnant ...


A quite unsettling piece of cult-based horror (even if the institute is never openly identified as "cult") as it juxtaposes pictures pictures of perfect harmony (including sexual harmony) with the nasty goings-on behind the curtain, which initially don't seem to amount to much, but thanks to a very well-structured screenplay really grow out of proportion. And thanks to a subtle enough direction that allows the threat to grow without betting on spectacle until the finale, and a very solid ensemble cast, this has turned out to be one really cool genre piece.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD