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This is Zoe

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Jul 12, 2022

Film Reviews
This is Zoe
Directed by:
Stephen Gallacher
Written by:
Hayley Reeve
Hayley Reeve

A young woman is tormented by her cruel inner self.


Zoe (Reeve) is at a nightclub with friends. Everything seems fine and she announces that she is going to the bathroom. Once she is there, her inner ego arrives and proceeds to viciously torment her by saying horrible things that aim to make her feel hopeless, worthless and ugly.


This tense short psychological thriller brings the audience into the mind of a person who appears to be suffering from low self-worth and self-loathing. The story begins with normality and the atmosphere changes dramatically once she enters the bathroom. In the bathroom, the viewers are introduced to her personal nightmares, which are dominated by her despicable alternate self. Her alter ego first appears when Zoe looks into mirrors, replacing her reflection. Then, it appears next to her and the verbal abuse goes on non-stop, with Zoe listening in silence and clearly distressed by the harsh words. Watching the alternate ego emotionally torture Zoe is quite upsetting and one can feel the isolation and despair that surrounds her as she is 'trapped' in a dark place with an evil entity.


Arguably, what stands out the most is Zoe's alternate personality. It takes the form of herself, wearing the same clothing, the difference being that her hair is unkempt and her face is filled with smudged makeup, making her look monstrous. She acts like a horrible bully and her presence seems to represent the negative emotions that Zoe has towards herself.


Director of photography Angela Zoe Neil does an amazing job with the cinematography and the lighting techniques are creative. Composer Adam Double does a great job with the score and the sound effects are rather effective.


This film is a character study that follows the terrible inner struggles of a young woman and it pulls no punches when it comes to showing how tormented she is. It explores issues that are generated by low self-worth and seems to carry the message that sometimes, one's biggest enemy is themself.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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