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Short Cuts: The Short Horror Review Roundup for August

Monday, August 30, 2021 | Short Cuts

By BRYAN CHRISTOPHER

Welcome back to Short Cuts! This month’s batch of short films features a scientist who makes the mistake of bringing his work home with him, an exploration of violence against indigenous women through folk horror, and a creature feature with a (graphically) erotic twist.

Enjoy, and as always, if you or anyone you know have a short film you’d like me to consider or if you’ve got some news you’d like to share in the short horror world, please contact me via Twitter or email me at [email protected]! 

The Thing in the Tub (2021)
Length:
 6 minutes Director: Jason Ewert Starring: Harrison Hicks, Krysta Sanders, Daniel Hoffstrom
It’s only natural that filmmakers would find ways to keep making movies during quarantine, but sometimes the limitations of making a film during lockdown really show in the final product. This was very much not the case for Jason Ewert’s short, however, as he’s created an eccentric film that’s contained but still manages to be dynamic and, most importantly, fun to watch. When a scientist brings home one of his lab samples, he leaves it unattended which, of course, means things go awry very quickly. Ewert’s combination of lighting and goopy makeup effects create a gross, funny, little ride with some fun performances and a pretty gnarly reveal at the end.
Where you can find it: Making the festival rounds. Check out the trailer here.

KWÊSKOSÎW (2021)
Length:
12 minutes Director: Thirza Cuthand Starring: Sera-Lys McArthur, Aidan Devine
Recently I’ve really been appreciating films that explore mythology outside of the standard realms we’re used to seeing in horror (Catholicism, rural white America, etc.). Thirza Cuthand’s short, which translates to She Whistles, not only explore indigenous folklore but does so through a self-described Indigiqueer lens that dives into the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women. The film follows Stephanie, a 2-Spirit nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) woman abducted by her cab driver late one night. As the severity of her situation becomes apparent, she draws on a dangerous power to protect herself. It’s dark material, partially for what happens on screen as well as what’s implied on a larger level. But there’s also something very compelling about the means in which Stephanie fights back, both narratively and visually. Cuthand’s use of green pops off the screen and gives the film a viscerally satisfying feel. May not be the easiest watch, but definitely worth it.
Where you can find it: Making the festival rounds. Check out the trailer here

MonsterDykë (2021)
Length:
 4 minutes Director: Kaye Adelaide and Mariel Sharp Starring: Kaye Adelaide
If you enjoyed The Shape of Water but felt like there was a decided lack of tentacle porn, golly do I have a short film for you. Recently aired at Fantasia, MonsterDykë follows a lonely trans sculptress who, tired of being blown off by condescending men, turns her attention to her art. As it happens, her art takes the form of a life-size femme creature that has taken quite a fancy to her creator. The ensuing encounter is sexy, silly, and dare I say empowering as the sculptress throws away convention and just goes with what makes her (and her creation) happy.
Where you can find it: Making the festival rounds. Check out the trailer here.

Bryan Christopher