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Film / Banshee Chapter

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There are many rules for mental and physical survival in a Lovecraftian universe, but avoiding mind-expanding psychotropic drugs is likely in the top three.

Especially if that psychotropic drug was developed in secret by the government.

Journalist Anne Roland's friend James has gone missing, leaving behind only a terrifying tape of his experiments with a drug called dimethyltriptamine. What she discovers is an eerie connection between the drug, illegal human experiments, a chilling Numbers Station, and strange extraplanar beings that only DMT users can see... and who want to "wear us".

Banshee Chapter is a 2013 horror movie directed by Blair Erickson and starring Ted Levine, Katia Winter, and Michael Mc Millian. It was heavily inspired by the H. P. Lovecraft story From Beyond, which is also referenced In-Universe.


This film contains examples of:

  • Alone with the Psycho: After the attack on Thomas' house and Callie's disappearance, Anne eventually drives to Callie's house to investigate where she got the recipe for the DMT-19. She ends up in Callie's lab in the basement of her house, reviewing surveillance footage showing Callie entering the basement and disappearing off-camera. Anne realizes that the footage was recorded only a short time earlier, and that Callie (who is pretty clearly possessed by the entities) is in the basement with her.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Thomas blows his brains out when he and Anne are cornered by a number of the entities.
  • Body Horror: After Anne destroys the transmitter and seemingly causes the creatures to dissolve into dust, she finds James's clothing at the Chapter 5 site, implying that the horrific creature that had been chasing her throughout the site was him being "worn" by one of the extradimensional beings.
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  • Darkness Equals Death: Many of the test subjects are just yanked into the darkness and vanish without a trace.
  • Downer Ending: Anne finds out the truth and seems to destroy the transmittor, but the police think she's crazy or was tripping on acid, Thomas is dead, James is dead, Renny is still missing, and Olivia turns into one of them while Anne is trapped in a police interrogation room with her.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Turns out Thomas was subject to experiments with DMT when he was in college.
  • Expy: Thomas Blackburn is an homage to Hunter S. Thompson—in particular his "Raoul Duke" persona.
  • Eye Scream: Exposure to the drug and/or the entities causes bleeding from the eyes, and ultimately apparently removal of them.
  • Fantastic Drug: DMT-19, which turns the brain into a receiver so otherworldly beings can find the users and possess them.
  • Funny Background Event: When Anne is in the police station at the end after the worst experience ever involving the government-created DMT, the wall behind her is plastered with posters about the dangers of drug use.
  • Ghostly Gape: The default expressions of possessed characters.
  • Human Resources: The drug is derived from the human pineal gland.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Those who fall victim to being possessed becomes one of these as the invading entity twists their bodies into monstrous and disturbing forms.
  • I Lied: Thomas pulls this twice on Anne. First, he tells her the blue liquid (which she ditched) didn't actually contain any DMT, but the whiskey (which she drank) did, in retribution for her lying about her identity and purpose to get a sample of DMT. Second, at the very end, he tells her that the DMT wasn't in the whiskey, either, meaning there was no way for her to be able to see and hear the transmissions.
  • Nightmare Face: Renny and Olivia, in their last respective scenes.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We see very little of the entities, mainly in glimpses and jump scares.
  • Numbers Stations: One of these becomes audible to those who take DMT.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: Played intermittently on the numbers station.
  • Pineal Weirdness: The drug is derived from the human pineal gland, and gives people the ability to see strange extraplanar entities.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Taking psychotropic drugs will cause you to be eaten and impersonated by extraplanar beings.