★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Directed by Nuhash Humayun
Winner of SXSW’s Short Film Jury Award for Midnight Shorts, Bangladeshi creepfest Moshari — the title refers to a mosquito net used in some South Asian countries — is a chilling creature feature with touching family drama. Teenager Apu (Sunerah Binte Kamal) takes care of her younger sister Ayra (Nairah Onora Saif) during a vampire plague in which the only defense against the monsters is the titular net. Moody and absolutely dripping with atmosphere, writer/director Nuhash Humayun’s short is splendidly acted by its two young stars, who give off a realistic sisterly feeling to their performances. Humayun builds the suspense masterfully, and the monster design is highly impressive.
★★★ out of ★★★★★
Directed by Will Seefried
Eduardo (Hiram Delgado) longs so much for a second chance at a happy childhood that he visits a retreat tailored for adults with that exact wish. After an unceremonious stripdown and turning his possessions over to a man (Tom Nelis) in a motel-like room, Eduardo rubs gel all over himself and goes through a simulated birthing process. He is “reborn” with two new parents — played by Motell Gyn Foster and Leslie Fray — who dote over him, from breast-feeding to playing with him while he cavorts in his kids’ pajamas. This dark comedy with thriller elements is solid as a self-contained short but also holds promises for widening the worlds of both its main characters and the decidedly odd retreat business, and writer/director Will Seefried shows a deft hand here, making expanding those worlds into a feature film an intriguing prospect.
★★★ out of ★★★★★
Directed by Rebekka Johnson and Kate Nash
Combining eco-horror with feminist horror, Wild Bitch is a horror comedy that finds television reporter Melaine Fischer (Kate Nash) chasing down a human interest story involving housewife Barb Cramper’s (Rebekka Johnson) home being visited by a wild coyote. Cramper is a bit eccentric, to put it mildly, and Fischer is rather impatient, and a trek to the nearby woods will change their lives forever. Johnson and Nash also cowrote and codirected Wild Bitch, with Nash providing the hard-driving theme song. The short is a fast-paced, fun, great-looking effort that provides social commentary along with a good deal of gore and laughs.
Reviews by Joseph Perry
Moshari, Homesick, and Wild Bitch screened as part of SXSW, which took place March 11–20, 2022 in Austin, Texas.