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Years ago I went to a Chuck Palahniuk reading at a book store in New York and nearly ended up losing my lunch during the reading. I was apparently not alone in having a strong physical reaction to Guts, which is a stomach turning short story, and was made all the more vivid with Palahniuk’s voice behind it. Graphic or not, Palahniuk knows how to paint dark and sometimes humorous pictures in our imaginations. It's one of the things that makes him stand out as a writer, and why the reading was as entertaining for me as it was nauseating.
Prior to my experience with the “Guts Effect,” I might have had a harder time understanding how anyone could have such a strong reaction to something they read in a book or watched in a movie, at least as it pertains to fiction. That brings us to this bit of news out of Sundance, which is unrelated to Chuck Palahniuk other than that it inspired me to flash back to a story I once heard about a kid having a bad experience in a pool. From the sound of it, V/H/S takes place in a house and what happens in the film may be horrible enough to cause people to lose consciousness.
According to Deadline, a man passed out during a screening for the found-footage horror film, which is directed by David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, and Adam Wingard. This happened early during the film, during a “particularly gruesome scene,” after which the embarrassed man had to leave the theater. He was able to meet the directors later on. Deadline’s report also says another theater-goer was treated for nausea 20 minutes later.
V/H/S is described as a found-footage horror, and it’s possible that the format of the movie, which may include a lot of shaky-camera shots, could have induced the fainting and nausea. Or maybe whatever it was that goes on during the first part of the movie is really that jarring that people are blacking out.