Here are some more shorts from the Another Hole In the Head Film Festival.
Ringworms (2022): A sinister cult looks to gain occult power through cursed worms and find the perfect host within Abbie, a young woman with commitment issues hours away from receiving a marriage proposal from the boyfriend she doesn’t even think she likes. Faye Nightingale, who plays the lead, is absolutely supercharged awesomeness; so is the direction by Will Lee. A splatter relationship movie that ends with a double blast of garbage disposal and black vomit mania, then topped by a head graphically splitting open to reveal a hand? Oh man — I loved every moment. I want more. So much more.
The Sound (2022): Two years ago, Lily (Sabrina Stull) experienced an incident that caused her to spontaneously start bleeding and lose her hearing. Now, two years later, she attempts to relax with her sister Alison (Emree Franklin, War of the Worlds: Annihilation) but worries that the strange phenomena that impacted has come back.
The Sound is a quick film that has some really well-done camera work and builds suspense nicely, even if it doesn’t let you in all that much on what’s happening. That said, the ending is definitely something and I’d like to know even more of what’s going on.
Directed by Jason-Christopher Mayer (who edited the films American Exorcism, The Doll and Coven; he also did “The Devil You Know” video for L.A. Guns) and written by Mayer and Emree Franklin (she was also in War of the Worlds: Annihilation) from a story by Gage Golightly, this short makes the most of its locations, runtime and budget, leaving you begging for just a little bit more.
Spell on You (2021): Salomé is ten years old and has a wart on her nose. This — and the way her father treats her — leads to her being disgusted by her own reflection. At night, she spies on her parents through the keyhole. And there’s weirdness all around her. I was surprised — I should have studied that English title as this was originally called La Verrue which means the wart and doesn’t spell it out — to discover that Salomé is destined to be a witch and escape the pain of her childhood, the ways that her father treats her — shoving her from his embrace and screaming that she’s infectious with her wart — and embracing who she is truly meant to be. Director Sarah Lasry has created a gorgeous looking film that stands between our real world and the world of the occult.
While Mortals Sleep (2022): Susan’s (Carie Kawa) has had her career as a cold case writer fall apart, so she’s hiding out at a friend’s remote vacation house. When she gets there, she meets Eddy (Will Brill) and Abby (Grace Morrison). He’s digging sludge out of the backyard; she makes a spot of tea a strange and not altogether pleasant affair. They’re the caretakers of the home, or so they say, but then Susan hears a baby cry a room away.
Trust me, that’s no normal baby.
Director and writer Alex Fofonoff may only have two other sorts on his resume, but this tense and well-acted piece points to him as a person of interest. If this was longer — it totally could be — it would be a movie plenty of people were talking about.
Alchemy (2016): Director Brandon Polanco said of this film, “The title, Alchemy symbolizes a cinematic concept designed to give a person who watches this film his or her own experiential transformation. We want our audience to ask themselves how they see the world and their own reality. There is a magical aspect to our film that reflects the viewer’s own personal experiences as they engage with our narrative journey. The film is not meant to be a piece of realism. Through sound and emphasizing color in the production design, we’ve created a visceral and symbolic film to help broaden the audience’s interpretation about the reality of life around us.”
Ian Kevin Scott plays a man who starts with a job interview and ends up discovering a place between multiple worlds, both familiar and otherworldly, exciting and terrifying. It’s really gorgeous and actually quite mind expanding.