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average rating is 3 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Jan 6, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Liz Cvalda
Written by:
Liz Cvalda
Cathy Wippell, Beth Gatherer, Ryan J. Harvey

A lonely woman brings a stranger to her home, leading to a situation that turns dramatic and sinister.


A young woman named Felicia (Wippell) is found unconscious in the woods by Katherine (Gatherer), who takes her to her isolated house in the countryside, where she lives by herself. Felicia has just murdered her partner (Harvey) and after she recovers her senses, she is initially alarmed and suspicious of her host. Things calm down a bit as they get to know each other and have some food. However, they have serious conversations, expressing their point of view regarding the dark side of men, death and what makes a bad person and eventually it becomes clear that there is more to Katherine than meets the eye.


This is a short, tense, psychological horror story that focuses on the relationship that is build between the two strangers. The atmosphere is unstable throughout, with the drama, tension and sadness and heavy rain outside. For most of the time, Felicia remains unfriendly towards Katherine, even though she tries to be hospitable and kind and the two of them talk about mostly unpleasant subjects. Felicia states that men are no good, while Katherine disagrees and they also discuss the afterlife and what evil deeds actually are. They also end up discussing a loss that Katherine has gone through and things get emotional. However, there does not seem to be much room for positivity in this story and although it is already known that Felicia has done a terrible thing, signs appear indicating that something is seriously wrong with Katherine that include a nasty wound on her wrist, her short temper and the way she eats, which is devouring food with her hands.


At first, the two protagonists are ostensibly contradicting characters. Felicia comes across as sarcastic and cruel, has very harsh feelings towards men and generally looks at life in a negative way and she is also a killer. On the other hand, Katherine appears good-hearted and with a more positive view towards the world, even though deep down she is lonely and sad. However, as mentioned, she also appears to have a dark side, making her similar to her guest, similar to a monster, as the title suggests. Also, the two leads are also presented as victims, victims of loss, isolation and domestic violence.


One of the key features in this film is the music by Cvalda and Florence Green. The score is sinister and tense at times and sometimes it sounds light-hearted and magical and commendations go to the creativity that was put into it. On the negative side, the score is overused and sometimes over-the-top, being added in scenes where it makes them feel exaggerated, making them too tense or just awkward. It would probalby had been better if there was no music at all during those scenes.


This short horror film is an intriguing viewing, a character study that explores the dark side of humanity and looks into hatred, murder, mental health, loneliness, loss and death. More cheerfully though, it also points out the value of support. It is a dark story that stands out due to the dialogue, the moody cinematography by Jed Ducusin that includes black-and-white, the dramatic performances by Wippell and Gatherer and the music (even though it is occasionally over-the-top).

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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