★★★★ Directed by: David Cave Written by: David Cave Starring: Ilena Cardy, Joseph Khaliffa, Jessie Cave and Jimmy Hargri Short Film Review by: Rachel Pullen
Self harm, to some people it’s a way of dealing with their anxiety and stress, helping them come to terms with certain situations in their life, and in the case of Girl and a Scar our leading lady is doing just that.
Welcome to the stage David Cave’s new short, a tale of a girl who is battling her demons in her own way, played by Ilena Cardy, this gothic beauty guides us into her own mind, one that is rich in animation, gore and a vampire-esque sense of style [think how people dress who have read Interview with a Vampire too much].
After the departure of her love, the girl cuts away at the same place on her body, in time this wound grows, taking on its own life and creating some rather unpleasant side effects, we see her struggle between her decaying home and an industrial wasteland, falling into animated dreams of herself ingesting some rather unpleasant meals, all along the present razor blade features, a reminder that this is her own personal nightmare.
Girl and a Scar has no dialogue, no narrative as such, but it’s not a silent film. There is the constant howling wind throughout, drumming home the feeling of isolation, like you’re on the moors in Wuthering Heights and Kate Bush is lurking in the distance...chilling.
As well as this, Cave has played heavy on the sound effects, reminding me of David Lynch’s Eraserhead, the budget effects gore becomes even more unpleasant with the heightened sound, allowing for true immersion into the scene for the viewer, important when only having a limited space of time to grab the viewer's attention.
For we must remember this is a short, running at 15 minutes Cave has crammed a whole lot of style into his time, and while this piece is not easy to decipher, Cave’s choices have given a platform for investigation. You are really able to make choices as to what this girl is going through, and just like trying to understand anyone’s thoughts entirely, it can seem an overwhelming task.
This short is bold in visuals, not afraid to buck the trend, but can be a little confusing at times, so if you’re looking for an easy watch I would not recommend but for fans out there of David Lynch or Dario Argento’s work, get on board, strap yourself in and ride the freak train to your insanity.