Each year Fantasia showcases a ton, almost a literal ton, of shorts films. Reviewing them can be a bit demanding, so it has been decided to review them in groupings. The following shorts were attached to feature films that played the fest and were viewed on the big screen.
AMY (USA) (2017)
Inspired by America’s most prolific female serial killer and set during a brutal heatwave, AMY takes the killer’s spree and shows but a glimpse of it with a bit of a twist. The story here is set in the early 1900s and the décor, costumes, and the way the images are shot are all done with great attention to detail, creating the feeling of a bygone era and a creepy undertone that runs throughout. The film has very few special effects and mostly relies on the atmosphere created by writer Peter Cilella and director L. Gustavo Cooper. The cast is strong here and plays their characters as straight forward as possible while the supernatural elements make themselves known. It’s creepy, it’s uncomfortable, and it achieves its goals to unsettle the audience by the end of its 7 minutes runtime.
Worm (USA) (2016)
A middle-aged single woman finds herself obsessed with her neighbor. When they finally meet, love is in the air, along with something else. As they get closer, she still knows nothing of his biggest secret. Once this is revealed, it will leave some of the audience in shock along with his lady, until the next surprising thing before the ending. Worm is a short by Ilya Polyakov that takes deep dark secrets and exposes them in new, sometimes gross, ways. The cast here plays along and creates a mystery until the big reveal which works beautifully well. It’s gross, it’s creepy and mysterious, and it should surprise a few.
The Plague (La peste) (Uruguay) (2017)
An old man returns to his home that is now his daughter’s, escaping his nursing home with a great secret. This secret may very well be something that will bring trouble. Written and directed by Guillermo Carbonell, this short looks to be set in the 1970s from the costumes and cars. It’s a fun and violent watch that leaves the viewer with a few unanswered questions by the time its credits roll. That being said, it’s entertaining and fun with a touch of creepiness to add to its horror content. It has a few surprises in store, so the less known, the better. That being said, the cast is strong and the ambiance thick with wonder and a touch of dread.
In the Dark, Dark Woods (USA) (2017)
An invisible woman with a dark, dark soul lives in the dark, dark woods. To help with her loneliness, she tricks a man and causes her own downfall. Written by Aline Bognacki and Jason Bognacki with the latter directing, In the Dark, Dark Woods is a powerfully atmospheric short film filled to the bring with dread and an air of supernatural. The cast is strong with great narration by a young girl telling this tell as a dark fairy tale. The film has some gross and effective effects and looks absolutely stunning bathe in diffuse light and fog. It’s one of those short that sticks with the viewer and makes them wish it were just a bit long, but not too long as to kill the mood created.
Fantasia International Film Festival ran from July 13th to August 2nd.