Maeve Dermody as Dr Sarah Faithfull in a scene from Fear of Darkness.
Maeve Dermody as Dr Sarah Faithfull in a scene from Fear of Darkness.

The Fear of Darkness: Psychologically thrilling

MULTI award-winning filmmakers Chris Fitchett and Mark Overett will be guest speakers a pre-release screening of their psychological thriller, The Fear of Darkness.

This film has been nominated for seven awards at the US-based FilmQuest genre film festival, including Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Mr Fitchett explained there is no violence shown in the film but that the concept adds to the suspense.

"The movie is about this university student who has taken this very powerful hallucinogenic drug," he said.

"When the police find her in this lonely lake house, she has strange marks on her face and her boyfriend has disappeared.

"There is blood everywhere but there is no body.

"The girl herself is completely freaked out so a psychologist, played by Maeve Dermody, investigates the case through hypnosis, taking her back to the night the incident happened, trying to work out what happened.

"But as she gets deeper and deeper into the case, it starts to affect her as well.

Mr Fitchett said the actors offered new light to his project.

"When I started writing it started as a horror film. As I worked on it I thought it should be a supernatural thriller about a possible creature, but then, as the actors came into the film, it became a psychological thriller," he said.

The film is based on a news story Mr Fitchett read in 2008.

The article told the story of a group of students in the US who took a powerful hallucinogenic called Dimethyl tryptamine (the strongest psychedelic drug known to man, considered more dangerous than LSD).

Each one of the teenagers had different experiences, but one of them talked about having an encounter with a malevolent alien being.

The director also used his experience as a psychology student at Melbourne University in the 1970s.

"For some reason, when I read that article, I related it to my experiences then and the people I met," he said.

The screening, organised by Screenworks Northern Rivers, will by hosted by SCU senior lecturer Grayson Cooke and followed by a live audience Q and A.

At the Star Court Theatre in Lismore on Wednesday, July 15, from 6.30pm.