“Aberrant” is a fascinating word. Though it usually has negative connotations, the implication of something deviating from the norm and wandering away from tradition may seem more and more appealing in a theatrical landscape saturated with reboots and sequels. Even mainstream audiences seem to be growing tired of the same Disney remakes, comic book sequels, and rebooted intellectual properties. Maybe they’re ready for something truly aberrant — the very first horror from Mongolia to come to American theaters.
Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group, has acquired the North American theatrical rights and has set a theatrical release date for the Mongolian horror feature film, Aberrance, on October 6, 2023. The video on demand and digital release will be in 2024. The trailblazing film had its North American premiere at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival to positive reviews as an Official Selection in the Midnighters section. You can watch the trailer and read the synopsis below.
The official synopsis for the film reads as follows:
“In Aberrance, when city dwellers Erkhmee and Selenge arrive at an old cabin deep in the Mongolian wilds, a sense of foreboding settles over the couple. Erkhmee’s seemingly keen desire to provide a safe and nurturing space for his artistic wife is at odds with the violent actions and mannerisms their quizzical neighbor observes. As the neighbor digs deeper for the reason behind this aberrant behavior, only more questions and trouble arise.”
As the trailer details, the film is a stylish, tense, and mysterious look at a some isolated people amidst the snowy woodlands of Mongolia while memories, odd behavior, and a whole lot of blood consume the film.
A Horror Movie Milestone
Aberrance is the theatrical directing debut film by Baatar Batsukh who also co-wrote the film with Erdene Orosoo (Kinsman of the Sun) and Byambasuren Ganbat. The film stars an ensemble Mongolian cast of Selenge Chadraabal, Erkhembayar Ganbat, Yalalt Namsrai, Oyundary Jamsranjav, Badamtsetseg Batmunkh Bayarsanaa Batchuluun, and Ariunbyamba Sukhee. The film was produced by Enkhmandakh Nemekhbaatar and executive produced by Angarag Sukhbaatar, Trevor Morgan Doyle and Alexa Khan of Three Flames Pictures and Team Hero Production. Alexa Khan said the following about the international horror film:
As a Mongolian and American filmmaker, I am honored to see our film being distributed theatrically in the US. It is a milestone to celebrate and excited to contribute to the AAPI filmmaking community that is making the marks in the US.
“As a Gulf War veteran and a film producer, setting a lofty goal of a theatrical distribution for a Mongolian film and having it realized is extremely gratifying,” said Trevor Morgan Doyle of Three Flames Pictures. “Our long-term plan is to get Mongolian cinema and artists the recognition that they deserve. We’re grateful and excited for the opportunity and for what the future holds!”
Cheers to that, and to a future of aberrance from the doldrums of cinematic norms. You can check out the film in theaters on Oct. 6.