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Get your first look at the disturbing new psychological thriller “Waking Karma” starring Michael Madsen, coming from XYZ in late January.

Waking Karma

XYZ Films will release Liz Fania Werner and Carlos Montaner’s dark thriller WAKING KARMA on North American VOD on January 26th. A tale of buried family secrets and unbridled religious fanaticism, the psychological thriller stars award-winning actor Michael Madsen (The Hateful Eight, Kill Bill, Species).

Filmmakers Carlos Montaner and Liz Fania Werner’s exciting new feature expertly combines paranoia and suspense into a psychologically destructive journey through the unknown. Coupled with dynamite performances from Michael Madsen and Hannah Christine Shetler, Waking Karma is primed to explode when it arrives on January 26th.

Karma and her mother have spent their lives evading Paul, her cult leader father (Michael Madsen). With Paul closing in as Karma reaches adulthood, she and her mother flee to a friend’s remote compound.

Paul tracks them there and traps them within its walls, putting Karma through a series of escalating tests designed to break her spirit and awaken an unholy inheritance that lives within her.

Writer and co-director Liz Fania Werner explained her personal connection to the twisted tale. 

Waking Karma

“I was inspired to write WAKING KARMA after a family member joined a religious sect whose practice centers around regressive views on gender roles and sexuality. When we read that there are around 3,000 cults in the United States with a membership estimated at 300,000 to three million, we were both immediately hooked into using this film as a vehicle to explore our fears of losing our autonomy as human beings, whether to a larger religious institution or to those who supposedly love us the most.”

Co-director Carlos Montaner added:

“We were especially curious about the ways in which women internalize misogyny and pass it down to their daughters, often through religious traditions involving marriage, “purity” and other forms of physical and mental control over their bodies.”

The directors note, “We hope that our dark fable will read as a kind of love letter to each person’s right to determine their own path in life, no matter how hard they have to fight to throw off what others have told them is their destiny.”

Alex Williams, Manager of Acquisitions and Development at XYZ Films, adds, “WAKING KARMA has haunted the thoughts of everyone at XYZ Films ever since the project first crossed our radar. This is one of the most unsettling cult-themed horror stories we’ve seen in years, and we can’t wait for it to start finding its following this January.”

Check out the film’s unnerving new trailer below. 

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