Southern Discomfort - The South Rises to this Horror Challenge
The regional block of films at Women in Horror Film Festival was titled “Southern Discomfort” and it was so aptly named that it's scary. A series of shorts from the Southeastern U.S. this grouping was expertly curated and delivered. Grueling, dark, and horrific with a touch of twisted humor, it was easy to see why these films were selected.
This short was visually stunning and told a twisted tale with almost no dialogue at all. In a strange speakeasy a burlesque dancer named Ms. Monster takes the stage after injecting herself with embalming fluid. At first it's your run of the mill striptease until she begins to uncover the signs of something dark and supernatural.
Misophonia is a strange condition in which certain sounds are amplified and become maddeningly hyper focused. A young woman suffering the disorder signs up for a binaural therapy course to help her control the condition but, as she begins to hear ghostly voices the sinister reality of her treatment becomes inescapable.
What if you got away with the most heinous crime imaginable? A woman returns to an empty home, haunted by the daughters she murdered. There is no peace as the memory of her crime is amplified by the spirits who will ultimately confront their mother, their killer, one final time.
The unintentional retelling of Little Red Riding Hood sees a boy and a girl in a town deep in decline and poverty exploring the ruins and the woods. But things are rarely what they seem and little girls can be dangerous creatures.
A diverse group of the socially elite gather for their yearly feast. A time to revel in their power, success, and opulent wealth, they invite an unsuspecting man named Will to be their guest of honor. The theme of this year's feast? Hope and Joy...and something special for dessert.
Dark, atmospheric, and creepy, this is a story of murder and ghosts with a touch of insanity thrown in for good measure. A pregnant woman eagerly awaits her fiance's return while an unsettled spirit haunts her in the night.
Inside the House
A story told without a single word and expertly carried out in less than five minutes. A young woman goes about her night preparing dinner as a killer stalks her from the window outside. Little do either of them realize that the real danger is inside the house.
Every film in this block was a triumph in their own right with Feast and Hinterland winning awards. Without saying too much about the plots I can say that each story was gripping and touched on topics that moved the soul and sent shivers down spines. It was genuinely a pleasure to see films created by an under appreciated and under represented group of filmmakers who prove that art flourishes and thrives no matter where it's from.
Dan is an author, editorialist, podcaster, and horror culture & lifestyle correspondent from the Southeast. You can find Dan's stories at Danno of the Dead Blog and through PDI Press.