A collection of monsters and monstrous people (often one and the same) bound together by love, or some form of desire, contend with the unexpected costs of fulfillment.
UK filmmaker Faye Jackson’s Changeling takes a grim and gruesome spin around the post-partum block as a new mother grapples with the unexpected changes of motherhood. Meanwhile, a new father’s sanity begins to unravel when faced with the changes that his incoming bundle of joy brings, culminating in a terrifying post-partum split from reality all his own in Charles Pieper’s monstrous Malacostraca.
Monster madness pervades the goopy, oddball world of Lucas Amann’s Peopling, where a man births his own doppelganger and creates competition for maternal love. Vadim Dozmorov’s Mommy’s Pickles puts Belarus on the genre-horror map with a splash (of blood) as a Texan is taken home to meet his partner’s formidable mother and finds himself in a horrifying pickle when she decides that there’s only room for one love in her daughter’s life.
Love is indeed a powerful and overbearing force in Spanish filmmaker Raúl Monge’s Hopes, which follows a homeless girl and her mysterious guardian in a dark and funny tale fit for The Twilight Zone. Yes, love truly is a vicious monster that brings out the worst in some people, as explored in Maxwell Nalevansky’s absurdist A Chest of Drawers, where a beekeeper and a brawny man’s mutual love gets mixed up in an unfortunate Faustian bargain.
The concepts of family and monstrosity are humorously explored in Canadian filmmaker Kate Felix’s Pepper, which pits a migrant worker against her new boss’ shady intentions of incorporating her into his rural “family” of farm-hands. Yfke van Berckelaer’s Dutch thriller Lili further explores the uneven dynamics between hirer and hiree as a woman’s audition for a part takes a dark and monstrous turn. — Nicole McControversy
Faye Jackson | UK | 10 min.
A new mother becomes increasingly mesmerised and appalled by the strange transformations happening around her baby.
Charles Pieper | USA | 15 min.
A failing writer loses his grip on reality as his wife grows pregnant with their child...
Lucas Amann | USA | 9 min.
When George accidentally births a doppelgänger, he finds competition for his mother’s affection.
Vadim Dozmorov | Belarus | 13 min.
The contemporary political milieu of Belarus are slyly commented upon as this short slides from comedy into horror, escalating a familiar domestic scenario wherein a boyfriend meets his in-law to an alarming end.
Raúl Monge | Spain | 10 min.
An invisible submission reflects the power of the strongest.
A Chest of Drawers
Maxwell Nalevansky | USA | 13 min.
Set in a time resembling the sixteenth century, an unimaginably scarred beekeeper is forced to make a Faustian bargain with a chest of drawers in the name of love.
Kate Felix | Canada | 8 min.
Weylon is looking for a hired hand and Fidelma needs the job desperately, but her duties in the dark barn might prove beyond her tolerance. Like Cujo with a feminist twist, this independent, low-budget short film was shot on location in Caledon, Ontario and is the second film from emerging director Kate Felix.
Yfke van Berckelaer | Netherlands | 9 min.
A young actress’ (Lisa Smit) audition for an older man (Derek de Lint) grows increasingly less comfortable with every line read in this single-take horror for the #metoo era.
Huluween Theatre @The Egyptian