Thursday, May 19, 2016

Anna (Short Horror Film, 2014)

Over the years I have developed the habit of catching up on the latest, greatest, and goriest in the horror world by watching trailers and short films while on my bus ride into the office in the mornings.

We're talking like, oh, 6:30 AM morning.

And the buses have become more crowded as our city swells.

And I thought it was a good idea to buy a smart phone with a Gigantic screen...

I was recently contacted by Matthew of the Forte brother duo, Matthew and Kevin. Matthew asked if I could take a look at two of their works from the Forte Films Entertainment company. Happy to do so, I proceeded to watch their 2014 short film, Anna. At 6:30 in the morning. In a standing room only bus. With my large-screened phone.

Now, I have absolutely no problem plugging in the headphones and watching gut-wrenching gory films at 6:30 in the morning. But I am sensitive to the fact that my morning commuter companions might not be so interested. Especially if roughly five of them are squished up beside me and have no choice because the bus is so full they can't even move their heads. This short horror film is in fact the very first one I had to turn off while on my morning commute.

This short is jam packed with BRUTAL. I could not expose my unsuspecting traveling companions to this (jumping to conclusions that they are not all horror fans). But the fact that I did this - abruptly and almost apologetically turning off the phone, quite possibly making a big deal out of it due to a lack of space - stuck with me for days. Days.

Later I watched the full film in the comfort of my own home. And STILL this film will stick with me for days, years, a lifetime. Reason being is that this short is not only full of Not Morning Commute Suitable gore (to be honest, even I was a bit shocked at what I saw that morning), but also because the story line is riddled with heart breaking social commentary. Devastating, painful, real, honestly brutal social commentary.

This short is about a zombie with an eating disorder.

I wonder still if viewers will chuckle a little at that statement. But the film is not funny, nor the social commentary behind it. And although this plot line is the backbone to the story, the rest of the short is inundated with all the various issues tied to eating disorders and other terrors facing so many people. Such as heart break, loneliness, insecurity, self identity, depression, and the list goes on.


But I love how horror movies - full length and short - can bring all that right to the surface. Where it needs to be. Horrifying that it is.

I encourage you to watch this film. However! Please note that it addresses many aspects of human complexity that can be hard for some. Viewer discretion is advised.

Now, Anna is not the only thing I saw from the Forte Films Entertainment company! I also watched the pilot for their new project The Sin Reapers. This takes an entirely different tone than Anna, and frankly I wanted to keep this plug dedicated mostly to Anna because it's a complete film where as The Sin Reapers is web series still in the works.

This series is focused on the spirits of the dead seeking out the assistance of 'sin reapers' who bring justice for the untimely deaths of the innocent. Great Idea! Really great idea!

This one is an interesting endeavor to check out, and it appears to me that The Sin Reapers is in it's beginning stages. But it's going places, folks. Particularly if the innovative rawness and brutality that was attached to Anna is brought here. I see some aspects where it was applied but it still felt as if something was held back. What that something is/was I'm still struggling with. Perhaps I simply didn't feel uncomfortable enough? I was certainly uncomfortable at points.

The Sin Reapers can and should take off. It's received a lot of positive attention and I understand why. Strong premise, original, effective use of space and lighting, but the limits I felt here can and I think should be crossed. No doubt the Forte brothers know how to do this. Lastly, and I can't quite let this go, the ghostly face make-up did not fool me. The sin reapers' make-up on the other hand was excellent.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, check out the first episode of the The Sin Reapers here:

Go get'em you guys. You  have a great short film here and the makings of a very chilling series. I look forward to seeing more!

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