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Monday, June 26, 2023

Palm Springs Short Fest 2023: Thrills & Chills II: Back From the Dead

 By Jonathan Bilski

Was it that scary at the Thrills & Chills II: Back From the Dead block at Palm Springs Short Fest 2023? Only, if family scares you.

Cast and crew from Thrills & Chills II
Spoilers ahead

I'm Here, the longest short of the night from Korean director Jeong Eun-uk, is about a young Korean women, recently fired dealing with her sick father an super over-bearing mother moving back in with her. It becomes a zombie nightmare of just dealing with family. Well shot, there's definitely a foreboding of what's to come as the main character Sujin seems to get more and more lost in seeing zombies as her family.

Director Jeong Eun-uk said she really loves a lot of horror films, but "The biggest horror comes from the family." The other scary thing was how she just finished film school in February and is already making studio level shorts.

Some films that just didn't stand up were the animated film Red Rabbit about a devil on your shoulder just being a nuisance to a cartoon rabbit and Smoking Kills, which as the director put it, is just something she wanted to do someone after they said it to her.

If you like sexy hobo women then go seek out Ticks. It's both a little bit sexy and gross. Think vampires, but losing their coolness.

Dead Enders and Pruning were close to having a strong horror comedy style, but just couldn't do it.

With Dead Enders, you knew that they were going for something funny when giant mutant bugs from below ground wanting to take over the earth and you have some of the dumbest cops after them. It just didn't seem like it everything was hammered out or could have went with more jokes. And, I think if redone or worked on more you might have something.

Pruning, was trying to be more serious dealing with the far right and dealing with a commentator basically giving up the last good part of her. It just took a little while to get there. Loved the throwing up of hair, always gross.

Prom Car '91 was my favorite. A silly take take on a high school slasher story. Carrie and Don want to lose their virginity to one another on prom night in a minivan. Things go bad when the car is stolen, with them in it, with a couple of serial killers. Oh, and Carrie and Don are just huge nerds.

Seeing how the night went for them was a fun time with two horny serial killers and two nerds just trying to get busy.

All the films, from what I liked to what didn't amuse me we're made with real effort though. You could tell that from everyone who was on stage doing the Q&A after.