On the Radar – Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse

The mass hysteria of the European witch hunts and the atrocities that accompanied them resulted in the brutal deaths of an estimated 200,000 people, the vast majority being women, during an age ruled by superstition and moral panic. It is at the onset of this phenomenon that Hagazussa takes place. In mid-1400’s Austria, a woman named Albrun (played by Aleksandra Cwen), orphaned at a young age and now with a baby of her own to care for, is the object of scorn and ostracization of the nearby villagers. As their imaginations start to run wild with fears of black magic and sorcery, they will set out to make her pay for the discomfort caused by her inconvenient existence.


While thematically compared to the highly regarded 2016 release The Witch, the style of Hagazussa is being described as far more abstract, psychedelic, and disturbing in its presentation. In an attempt to replicate the frenzied and noxious blend of primal fear mixed with profound ignorance, first-time director and noted photographer Lukas Feigelfeld has bathed his debut feature in a hallucinatory delirium that favors spell-binding cinematography and visually striking imagery over traditional narrative. Reviews from festival screenings suggest that it still very much succeeds in telling an intensely unsettling story all the same.

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Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse charts high on our most anticipated horror releases of 2019. At 2017’s Fantastic Fest, one of the world’s leading genre film festivals, it took home the Best Next Wave Picture, an honor shared by films such as It Follows and We Are What We Are. Having wrapped up a lengthy tour on the festival circuit, it is expected in the first quarter of next year, distributed by Bloody Disgusting Films (the V/H/S series, Southbound) and Doppelgänger Releasing (Heavy Trip, Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal).

On the Radar


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