Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Sinister Symbiosis (2020) - Short Horror Film Review


Sinister Symbiosis is the latest short horror film from Australian writer/director David Black, someone I most know for the comedy web based horror anthology show, Horror House. His latest film is a bit different to what I would normally expect from him, initially appearing to have no comedy aspect to it. While that isn't quite the case this was still a decent bit of body horror.

David Black co-stars as a man who has been chained to a chair by a sadistic woman (Anastasia C. Kouloukas), who it appears is planning to torture him. As the fifteen minutes unravel it becomes clear that things are not as black and white as they first appear, for captor and captive are actually incestuous brother and sister, as well as masochist and sadist. As this drastic sex game plays out though it seems one of the two may start to get a bit carried away...


This short starts off in style with a great little intro credit sequence that is a perfect blend of music, visuals and style. This then moves into the opening shot of Kouloukas's character applying make-up. This neat style with the film-making continues and can most keenly be seen with footnotes of text that pops up on screen and freezes the story whenever a character says a word requiring deeper explanation, such as 'sadism' 'cannibalism' and 'incest'. This, along with the mostly black setting the two characters are in creates an abstract feel to the goings on. The aura of seriousness and bleakness to this is dispelled somewhat when Black's character begins to speak. It turns into almost a contest between the siblings on whose preferred way of getting pleasure is better, with Black's character associating the pleasure and pain combination he feels to something akin to spiritualism. 

As the quarter of an hour short plays out the body horror comes into play, and while this is still relatively bloodless there are some gruesome moments here. I wasn't exactly sure how this would get wrapped up, but it manages to do so in a way that was consistent with the style that had been gone for, and also darkly humorous. Sinister Symbiosis was a fun little horror that had some decent ideas going for it, I especially thought the editing and design choices were top notch. This short premieres on The Grim and Bloody Theater YouTube channel on June 6th.

SCORE:



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