Elephants (2018)

There’s no better statement on romance than the idea that sometimes the ones that we love the most aren’t always the best thing for us. With “Elephants” director-writer Alexander Hanno constructs a truly good romance dramedy based around how nostalgia can often leave us stagnant and stuck in one place. “Elephants” is a very sad movie about two people so in love that they automatically hurt each other’s prospects at success in life, but also about getting stuck in remembering the past, and not accepting that we have to move forward and look ahead.

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¿Quieres Que Hoy Te Bese? (Do You Want Me to Kiss You This Time?) (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Growing Pains” Shorts Block

Directors Iker Arce and Miriam Ortega Dominguez’s “¿Quieres Que Hoy Te Bese?” is a nearly half hour short film that resonated deeply with me when it was all over. What we assume is a short horror drama about a teenage girl coming in to adulthood in the most sinister fashion, we soon discover is a very brilliantly constructed, disturbing non-linear horror tale.

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The Body Corporate (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Midnight Movies” Shorts Block

I can’t say that I would recommend Stepanka Cervinkova’s dystopian horror film per se, but I appreciated the message behind it, and I liked its energy. I also loved the special effects as they garnered the right amount of yuck factor. The big problem with “The Body Corporate” is its sheer confused tone, but otherwise director Cervinkova is at least a good director with a neat concept.

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Nose Nose Nose EYES! (2017) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Flesh and Blood” Shorts Block

This South Korean horror film by Jiwoon Moon is not a movie about ghosts or goblins, but about the absolute perverse horrors of greed and the evil money can foster. Director-writer Moon tells the tale of a small family living in a sheltered home. After Ji-hyo has a horrible nightmare with her father scaring her without any eyes, her mother Hyeon-woo half heartedly assures her that it was all a nightmare.

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Caroline (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Growing Pains” Shorts Block

I haven’t seen a short yet that’s inspired so much anxiety in me and I mean that as a compliment. Co-writers/Directors Logan George and Celine Held’s “Caroline” is an all too true to life look at the perils of single motherhood and how sometimes stress can inspire sheer irresponsibility. In a world where the welfare of children has become absolute top priority, there’s very little room to slip up, anymore. “Caroline” touches on an issue that’s become ridiculously common in an age where single parenting is basically the norm.

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Lucy’s Tale (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Growing Pains” Shorts Block

Director Chelsea Lupkin’s “Lucy’s Tale” is a short I hope to see turned in to a movie someday very soon. I think it has so much potential to become a twisted coming of age story about the birth of evil, as well as a story about body insecurity, sexual awakening, and the horrors of modern bullying. “Lucy’s Tale” suffers from a pun of a title, but once you get past it, Lupkin delivers a narrative that I wish was a hundred minutes and went further in to the story of Lucy.

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Panic Attack! (2016) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“A Real Scream” Shorts Block

Eileen O’Meara’s “Panic Attack” is a very short but sweet look at the chaos that is the panic attack and how horrific it can be. Animated and painted by Eileen O’Meara herself, “Panic Attack” is centered on a young woman waiting at a stop light while driving. When she ponders if she shut off her coffee machine, suddenly her imagination begins to take on a life of its own and a mole hill is transformed in to a gigantic mountain before our very eyes.

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Control (2017) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“A Real Scream” Shorts Block

I found Kimmy Gatewood’s “Control” to be pretty fucking excellent, and it’s probably one of my favorite short films of the “Final Girls Berlin Film Festival” so far. The premise is genius and her short brought me back and forth from grinning to tisking in sheer sadness; let’s just say I related to her creation more than I thought. While the premise has every chance to be exploitative and played for cheap laughter, there’s an inherent sadness underneath every moment, and it’s more poignant, in the end.

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