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The experiment was originally based on the 1971 “Stanford Prison Experiment” carried out by professor Philip Zimbardo to understand the development of norms and the effects of roles, labels, and social expectations in a simulated prison environment with some students of Standford University playing prisoners and others playing guards.

Were Philip Zimbardo tested what happens when you put ordinary people in a position of power over others, Film Director; Tim Burke twisted the original experiment to answer a more supernatural hypothesis. In “The Lucifer Effect”, Mr. Burke trapped 8 unsuspecting movie role contestants to test whether “good” people turn “bad” trapped in a reportedly evil environment. The film centers around 8 people, from all warps of life, who thought they had bought a ‘movie role’ in a horror film, only to be locked inside the haunted mental asylum to test the experiment. After signing release forms, the test subjects were locked inside for three days and three nights, with no phones and little food or water. The contestants were monitored on 24 CCTV cameras with no script or direction and just an ouija board for comfort.

Unlike other films it has been compared to, such as “The Blair Witch Project” or “Paranormal Activity”; the bizarre footage and horrifying events in “The Lucifer Effect” actually happened. As a result, the experiment was quickly shut down and police confiscated footage. Reports of a curse started to be reported in the media shortly after the contestants were released from the asylum and after the unfortunate events which happened at the film’s test screening.