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Telluride Horror Show, Day 3, Efrit's Take

Well, another year in the books and we already can't wait for next year! Here are Efrit's Day 3 takes:

Sunday Suspensefuls Shorts Block

Scary shorts are our jam here in the underworld so we always get excited for two short blocks in particular. The creature feature shorts and the Sunday Suspensefuls. Today these delivered in a big way. All the short were great so let's talk about them.

Baghead - What if you could talk to your dead loved ones? What if you could touch and feel them again? This is the experience Baghead explores in a very interesting way. I would love to see more around this and the background, but the movie was presented with is a very awesome take on what you would do if left with unanswered questions when someone dies. Short Horror Rating: 8/10

Mirror - As we have learned in previous suspense shorts taking free furniture and home decor is never a good idea. In this new short a failing actress finds a free mirror and it turns out to be more dangerous than it seems. The reflection betraying you motif is pretty fun to explore, but unfortunately this one didn't really do anything exceptionally new. Short Horror Rating: 4/10

The Sermon - Once again, religious fanatics doing what they do best and torturing outsiders. In this short we see a kind of fun twist where in one of the church ends up turning the tables for love. I really liked this even though it is kinda cliche. It is fun to see the right kind of love win out here. Short Horror Ratings: 7/10

Post Mortem Mary - Taking photos it not nearly as scary these days since they are done in a snap….get it? But in the time period Post Mortem Mary takes place, cameras work a bit slower. This is kind of nerve wracking when you're taking pictures of dead people. This film does some pretty great stuff with the gimmick it was using. Short Horror Rating: 6/10

The Blue Door - As a demon it is very hard for me to feel terrified. The Blue Door managed to do this to me. Following a hospice worker in a disheveled home as she starts seeing a random blue door throughout the house and something trying to get through. Short Horror Rating: 10/10

Riley Was Here - The zombie virus is something that humans tend to be really afraid of, but in Riley Was Here we get a fresh, interesting take on a post-post apocalyptic world. This movie uses the zombie virus as a vehicle for dealing with loss. This film is not very suspenseful, but it is a pretty interesting zombie concept. Short Horror Rating: 6/10

Here There Be Monsters - Monsters aren't born, they are created. Unless you are Sickle or I, in which case we have pretty much been monsters since the beginning. This short starts off with a girl who gets abused by bullies on a bus and falls asleep crying. She ends up having to fight a monster for her survival. I think this short ended in a way that makes me frustrated as they tried to humanize the bully before the main character takes her vengeance so it feels wrong, even for a demon. Short Horror Rating: 6/10

Heretiks

Everyone agrees, holy buildings are terrifying. Churches are supposed to be safe places, but most creatures tend to ignore that. Cemeteries are supposed to be hallowed ground, but are often the places the evil comes from! Recently, abbeys have been making an appearance as places where terrible evils live. This is the setting of Paul Hyett’s Heretiks.

After being accused of being a witch for predicting a barn burning down (with her mother inside), Persephone is sentenced to death then subsequently “saved” by the Reverend Mother. She is taken to live in an an abbey that has a history of evil. Using her clairvoyance, Persephone starts seeing the evil force seeping out into the real world and attempts to stop it before it kills them all.

Even though it kinda seems like my description above is a bit sarcastic this movie was pretty great. It has a pretty easy to follow plot and some super creepy scenes, kills and just people in general. The Reverend Mother is a crazy wack along with her flunkies, and the girls she pulls from the town are just trying to survive. There were also tons of great kills and light gore scenes, which this demon really liked. Another impressive thing is the cast is mostly female with only a few males in the entire cast. One of them is a side character and the other is a cameo!

I will say that some parts are a bit confusing but once you think about it they tend to make sense. There are also a decent amount of cheesy scenes but luckily they only slight break the tension and usually that works out for the movie in a good way. It was everything I wanted The Nun to be. This makes two great films from Paul Hyett (Howl being the other one), im very excited to see what happens next!

Horror Qualifier: 10/10

Horror Quality: 8/10

Film Quality: 6/10

CAM

Often times internet pornography is demonized (no pun intended), and shown as anything from degrading to sexually exploitative. But there are far more terrifying things to worry about when being a cam girl than the connotations as we see in CAM.

It is an interesting dive into both the real life terror of a sex worker (camgirl), written by a former camgirl Isa Mazzei, and the fear of being replaced with a doppelganger. CAM starts with an ambitious young woman, working her way up the ranking system of the camgirl site she is working with. This ambition is causing friction with some of the other girls, and also driving her to extremes like a very realistic simulated onscreen suicide. Right before and during shows the real life ugliness and callousness that the internet seems to breed. It also examines problems with her private life, not knowing how to tell her family what she is doing, to work life spilling over into her personal life.

All of this would make for a perfectly fine drama, but we aren’t here to talk about dramas, we are here to discuss horror. The second and third acts are filled with our protagonist Lola, near obsessively observing her online double in an attempt to figure out what is going on and how she can get her life back, while the new Lola keeps upping the ante and going beyond her established rules and boundaries. While she also has to deal with family, cops, and a stalkerish situation.

The finale is somewhat hard to watch, to see the lengths that she is willing to go to wrestle her life back, and I will let you see what happens when CAM hits Netflix sometime soon.

Horror Qualifier: 7/10

Horror Quality: 6/10

Film Quality: 8/10

Thanks, Telluride Horror Show for another amazing list of feature and short films!

© 2020 Sickle and Efrit | Dalton Vanhooser & Kyle Hagan