Couple, Harriet (Abigail Hardingham) and Jasper (Rowan Polonski) are online porn performers catering to the more sophisticated audience. This includes an artier approach to sex and BDSM.

They have their clients but business is not good. Troubling too is that Harriet’s art isn’t making the commercial progress she was hoping for, and Jasper’s ideas aren’t getting much further than his notebook. All this is putting their relationship under some strain.

Enter Bishop (Brad Moore) a sleazy middleman who has a well-paying client but insists on receiving his material only via VHS. While not ideal, having to use what Jasper considers to be ancient equipment, but needing the money they reluctantly agree.

Masks on they go through an introduction to the client then into a trance stage. Waking up neither can recall much of what happened and they have been forbidden from looking back at the footage. As things start to get weird, curiosity gets the better of them and events start to get out of control, and weirder.

Wilfully arty, Custom written and directed by Tiago Teixeira makes the best of what must have been a minuscule budget to create some really quite unsettling images.

Heavily relying on images of bondage there’s also what could be a VHS tape fetish theme with Harriet swaddled in the stuff during the sessions. It’s very strange to watch, stranger with the addition of VHS effects that viewers who remember watching pirated tapes will recall.

There is a mystery to the client that Jasper sets about researching as his and Harriet’s health start to deteriorate. However that element of the film looks to take a backseat to the imagery.

Sparingly directed, Teixeira gets solid performances from leads Hardingham, Polonski and Moore who are experienced actors and while newcomer Samantha Steel as Bea makes a solid debut.

Custom received its world premiere at Glasgow FrightFest 2024.