Blood Runs Down
We follow a mother and daughter as they pass through three stages; Idolatry, Resentment and Grief. These three stages represent aspects of their lives and show them in different circumstances through a short period of time together.
In the opening sequence, the audience is greeted with a compassionate mother, and a happy little girl going about their evening routine. As we quickly move from Idolatry into Resentment, we see the mother’s demeanour drastically transform into something evil and sickening. Once we reach Grief, it becomes clear that what we are witnessing has darker and deeper depths to be discovered.
Blood Runs Down comes from director Zandashé Brown, and is a terrifying and uncomfortable southern-gothic horror short that deals with themes of loss, heritage and making tough decisions as a child. Idella Johnson as Elise (mother) and Farrah Martin as Ana (daughter), both give outstanding performances. One thing to note is the sound production of this short; it’s so precisely clear that you really feel immersed, and the score is one that rivals Carpenter’s Halloween.
Nose Nose Nose EYES
A young girl feels there is something suspicious about her father’s illness that her mother is hiding from her. When she enters his room to give him a visit, her mother soon enters and she finds out the shocking truth about why he hasn’t been feeling so well.
Nose Nose Nose EYES opens with a very short lived scene that sets the creepy atmosphere for the entirety of the short horror film. After this the audience begin to learn about the relationship between the mother and daughter; initially she portrays the perfect mother, but soon shows us that her intentions are less than well mannered and she is a malicious mother. It’s here that we resonate with the daughter’s feelings of dread and uncertainty about her father.
It’s clear that director Jiwoon Moon was heavily influenced by one of Asian cinema’s finest directors with her short film. The finale is one of the most intense sequences ever with piercing noises, dramatic pacing and terrifying acting; it has similarities from Takashi Miike’s Audition and a pinch of the Ren O-Shi backstory in Kill Bill. Nose Nose Nose EYES is brutal and upsetting to watch.
The year is 3131, and after a war that devastated Earth occurred, some humans have relocated to another planet called “Heaven”. Two sisters currently reside there, but have discovered it’s far from serenity and is more akin to some form of purgatory. They must do everything they can to survive in this world.
We follow the sisters as they go through their day to day duties, and the audience quickly learn that this is a dystopian future without any hope and full of slave labour and misery. The pacing is slow and it feels that Colony would have worked better as a feature film as there are too many aspects that leave us with unanswered questions; why did the war happen? Where are they? What was the threat that eradicated the world? Without these questions, the audience are left feeling a little lost as to why the sisters have to go through what they do.
Director Catherine Bonny plays on the trope that even in the future women still have to use sex as a way to gain what they need, and that men use women for any needs they have. The ending of Colony takes this direction and twists it on it’s head giving us a satisfactory thought about what’s to come for those men who have wronged the women, but yet it would have feel more impactful if we had had a longer run-time and more background.
First-time babysitter Sujin is a college student and looking for some extra work to help support herself. When her first interview goes exceedingly well, she’s hired on the spot. She’s left alone with Hana, and soon realises that the sweet little girl she presumed she would look after might have a dark secret.
Being a working mother comes with its trials and tribulations; it’s not always easy to find a babysitter that’s going to sit around so you can attend all your business meetings. Director Mai Nakanishi explores what happens when children are left alone, and the denial one mother goes through when a tragedy occurs to her daughter.
Although the story itself is harrowing, the tone of Hana doesn’t quite feel right; it’s not frightening and it doesn’t make you feel any emotion towards the mother, the babysitter and not even Hana in particular. For such a story, a real connection to the characters is needed, and building upon their personalities and backstory would have given this short horror film the edge it needs to cut through the rest.