Horror Shorts: Folk Tales [Klechdy] (2018)

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★★★★ out of ★★★★★
A timely tale of modern immigration, organ harvesting, and witchcraft, and is one of the best Horror Shorts of 2018.

Directed by Paweł Łukomski

I saw a lot of horror short films last year, probably eighty or so, from all the festivals I went to. None was more poignant than Lukomski’s Folk Tales. Immigration is the challenge facing the entire world, as those without much flee for wealthier countries where opportunities for work and safety beckon.

This is the tale of Juju (Anthony Adeleke), a young African man, looking to find passage to Poland, where hopefully a new life awaits. He smuggles himself into the back of a freight truck, along with a fellow emigree named “Bad Motherfucker” (Cb Mulva) and they talk of their dreams of making it.

Before their dreams even get started, though, they are nabbed by an organ harvesting ring who prey upon the refugee population for profit. Juju manages to escape into the Polish woods, and his desperate pleas for sanctuary finds him at the home of an eccentric hermit woman, Kiki (Olga Szomanska) who is far more than she seems.

The criminal thugs are closing in on him, and it becomes hard to tell who has set a trap for whom. Is Juju in over his head? Definitely. Is the curious woman on his side, or does she have nefarious plans for him as well? Well, for that nugget, I suggest you watch.

This film is saturated with equal parts empathy and dread and poses some interesting questions about race, trust, and hope from a distinctly Eastern European perspective. This is Łukomski’s directorial debut, and it’s an impressive opening salvo. Fok Tales was one of the most engaging short films I saw all year, so I have nominated it for a Thingy Award for Best Short Horror Film of 2018. Enjoy!

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