Mother of Movies has a remote press for the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival. Just like last year, I chose one block from the shorts selection and this year it’s Bad Romance. The 2020 line-up has eight sets of short films and I thought with Valentine’s Day and being single for the first time in about ten-years, Bad Romance was probably appropriate. FGBFF is held each year in February and this year sees them at City Kino Wedding from 6th February to the 9th February. How can you go wrong with horror short films about love?
The Bad Romance section kicks the festival off in an appropriate fashion. On the same day, it’s also showing Charlie Says, the movie about Charles Manson’s women. Mother of Movies already covered this one and you can catch the review for that right here. It’s safe to say this version of the killer’s life is solid and subsequently featured on 2019 Best of Dark Cinema list so don’t miss that one if you get the chance.
Bad Romance Horror Short Films Set, Short Films About Love at the Final Girls Berlin Festival
Sometimes, I Think About Dying
First in the set of short films is a solemn story from director Stefanie Abel Horowitz about a woman called Fran. It starts out in voiceover style and narrates akin to a poem I heard somewhere. Fran is obsessed with the thought of dying. She thinks about the ways and manner in which she might succumb to her passing so much there is little else her life consists of. A man in her office messages her from time to time. Although she notices him noticing her Fran puts it down to the fact that he either likes her or wants to sleep with her.
I loved this short film and think it speaks to the heart of loneliness and whether or not sharing your deepest darkest thoughts will be the end of something or the beginning. Sometimes, I Think About Dying runs for 12 minutes and 19 seconds and is well worth your time.
A more bizarre entry for the Bad Romance section is Attachment. Directed by Katarzyna Babicz the story follows a man who’s been spending time with a younger woman. He leaves his wife to be with her and they move in together.
This short film runs for 16-minutes-28-seconds and features some truly creepy tension. It goes without saying the man probably should have looked at his lover a little more closely before confining himself with her in such close quarters. The narrative also suggests that sometimes new and shiny things eventually represent the very thing you thought you had had enough of. There is very little dialogue in Attachment however the pacing and sometimes fast-moving nightmare scenes tell you everything you need to know and more.
Short Films About Love
I loved Crust. This one was definitely my favorite of the six short films. I can see this featuring on a site like Alter and going viral. Made entirely in claymation-stop-motion Crust comes from the wonderful mind of director Isabella Avery. It runs for only 3-minutes-41 seconds but you will love every moment. The quaint and direct story follows a sweet little old woman who loves to bake pies and wants nothing more than to win competitions. She enters them all the time much to the chagrin of her grumpy old husband who sits in a chair nearby as she potters around. Always follow your dreams, no matter who is telling you not to.
I previously covered Deep Tissue for another Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2019. Suffice to say, Deep Tissue is quite disturbing. It also plays into the notion of thinking you know what you want and then finding out that thing is a lot different from what you expected. Sometimes despite how different, you still find that you like it. From director Meridith Alloway running 8-minutes-42 seconds.
Sports Day takes quite the turn early on and dives straight into mixed messages and consent. A seemingly innocent kiss turns into more than a girl wants and highlights the pressures on young people. A Chinese language short film from Lin Tu the 10-minute-54 second story soon turns into something more sinister when Bai releases the room she is staying in is also home to something she can’t quite explain. A weird journey into a dark and scary sexual story laden narrative about the loss of innocence.
It’s Easier to Raise Cattle
A Malaysian short film from Amanda Nell Eu, It’s Easier to Raise Cattle takes you to the heart of a beautiful green clearing with a girl in a tree smoking a cigarette with obvious enjoyment. Another girl happens upon her and tries to get closer without being noticed to take the discarded butt thrown to the ground. The two girls are seemingly drawn to each other despite having obvious differences. I’m not too sure what the message was in this one, as there were quite a few disjointed ideas.
I guess sometimes it’s really important to have things in common for a long successful relationship and the couple in this short film definitely highlights that. Emilie is a Hearth host that looks to be similar to Air BnB. In creepy voiceover, a man described the pleasant stay he and his partner had in her home and that it was very much suited to their needs. The needs of this couple aren’t normal needs. Directed by Sophie B. Jacques this French-language short film will keep you on your toes.