The Shorts of “We Are the Weirdos 2 2019: Presented by The Final Girls Collective” [Women in Horror Month 2019]

Featuring some of the greatest new and emerging female talent in the genre space, these films delve deep into the darkest human desires from a uniquely female perspective. These are films that delve deep into the darkest corners of the human experience, bringing an unforgettable array of monsters to the screen and offering a fresh and perverse perspective on horror. “We Are The Weirdos is at the core of what we want The Final Girls to be about: a platform which can nurture, champion and spotlight female talent at the centre of the horror genre.” adds co-director Anna Bogutskaya. “The programme is distributed by The Final Girls and it is our intention to make this an annual event at cinemas worldwide.”

Blood Runs Down (2017)
Zandashé Brown’s thriller is a statement about the relationship between mothers and their daughters and perils of being a single parent. Told through three chapters, we get to meet Elise and her daughter Ana, both of whom become the victim of a dark force in their house. As Elise embraces the darkness within her, Ana realizes she has to do some quick growing up and face down her once beloved mother. “Blood Runs Down” doesn’t quite clarify a ton of details, but there are heavy themes about spirituality, grief, and the stresses of being a single mom. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s at least well directed.

CATCALLS (2018)
Kate Dolan’s horror thriller is a nice bit of karmic justice for a pair of girls walking the road one night. After being stopped by a man in his car, he drives off after he reveals himself to them masturbating. When he gets home to his wife, he realizes he’s being stalked by a pair of humanoid cat like monsters that intend to ravage him. Dolan’s horror film is a creepy and fun tale of revenge and a neat message about respect. 

Cerulia (2017)
Sofia Carrillo’s animated fantasy is beautiful in its style and absolutely haunting at times. Animated with some brilliant stop motion, “Cerulia” finds a young girl named Cerulia who visits her childhood home with the intent to say goodbye. Of course the house refuses to let her go, and she has to basically confront her past and face her future. “Cerulia” is a wonderfully detailed and haunting tale of the grip the past can tend to keep on us throughout our lives. The animation is unique and will likely stay in the viewer’s minds for a long time. 

#EATPRETTY (2018)
Rebecca Culversome’s experimental short is bizarre and never quite lands its intended message. I assume most of the film is about the concept of commercialism and consumerism and the pressures to fit a particular image that magazines promote to the public. Despite some weird direction and obvious overtones about false advertising so prominent in advertising, “#EATPRETTY” comes off more like an student film than anything else. I was never sure if it was intended as horror or dark comedy.

Goodnight (2018)
“Goodnight” is set on an evening where a married couple tucks their daughter in to bed. As they attempt to get intimate, they begin hearing voices in their daughter’s room. Soon the mother darts to her daughter’s bedroom intent on finding out what is happening. Diane Michelle’s horror film is a creepy and classic tale of childhood innocence lost with some overtones that seemed pretty fascinating. I’ve read interviews with Diane Michelle and she doesn’t seem to quite indicate the big connection between the film’s monster and the young daughter’s monster and why he has it under her bed. Is he feeding the monster? Is he forming some intimate bond with the daughter he doesn’t want anyone intervening with? A lot of shots seem to indicate something so much more boiling underneath beyond a simple monster movie. In either case, “Goodnight” is well filmed, creepy, and has a memorable final scene. 

Inseyed (2018)
Jessica Hudak’s animated tale is a short but morbid story of a young girl who awakens one night sure she’s being watched. When she enters her bathroom, she discovers something horrific within her eye. “Inseyed” is only two minutes in length but has a great sense of humor, a morbid final scene, and some wonderful stop motion animation that injects some fun dark whimsy.

The Lady from 406 (2017)
Lee Kyoung’s “The Lady from 406” has a good idea about grief and the eternal torment of regret and guilt, it’s just so muddled and convoluted. A young woman living in an apartment complex is tortured by her neighbor’s incessant smoking and writes him a letter to cut the habit down for the sake of her daughter. The pair begin a back and forth letter writing conversation that ends in a confusing final scene that never quite clarifies what it’s supposed to symbolize at all. Are we watching a reality or the picture of a woman’s eternal hell? What did she do to stay in this continuous loop? In either case, I loved the tone of the film, I just didn’t think much of the overall narrative. 

Puppet Master (2018)
Hanna Bergholm’s fantasy drama is one of the strongest statements about manipulation and abusive relationships I’ve seen in a while. A young woman (Merja Pöyhönen) finds herself in love with a puppet maker, who then embraces her. When he does, he begins building her in a new image as a puppet. As she becomes his unwitting pawn as her ventriloquist, she spends much of the film deciding if she wants to remain the puppet or take control of herself. “Puppet Master” is poetic and weird, and has a bold idea about staying true to yourself through the very end.

“We are the Weirdos 2: The Final Girls Collective” tours from February 16th to February 28th