Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Agapornis (2018) - Short Horror Film Review

Agapornis (Love Birds) is a short Spanish horror that comes from director Jose Mellinas (who was an actor in [REC] 3: Genesis as well as Game of Thrones). Mellinas also co-wrote this with Rosario Curiel, and appears in a small role within the short. This is a black and white horror that goes for a Gothic vibe, rather than over the top violence and jump scares.

After their mother passes away sisters Laura and Alicia inherit her remote house. Alicia had been away from the family for quite some time and her sister resents her for leaving her alone with her possessive mother, and her mother's boyfriend Mario. It also turns out there is a forgotten secret from the families past that just may come back to haunt Alicia...

While I didn't feel the overall story was conveyed as well as it could have been I did like the oppressive mood this created. The black and white 1970's setting gave off a moody feeling, while the interaction with the two sisters makes it clear there is an unaddressed issue. The horror comes in the form of a mysterious radio that their bird obsessed mother adored. This radio keeps turning up in the most random of places, always accompanied by a loud distorted cackle. This reminded me a bit of The Twilight Zone, I could see this with a little bit of adapting working great within the structure of that classic show. The twist here though didn't feel like it had the impact it should have. With a run time of just under fifteen minutes I felt some aspects were not able to be explored fully which left me with questions. It is nice to leave stuff to the viewers imagination but for me these lost elements led me to being a little confused as to characters motivations.

This does have some good moments though, especially the final scene that weirdly made me think of the monster from the DLC for The Evil Within video game (The Assignment). I liked how the voice of the mother echoes to make it sound like her voice is coming from a speaker. It all ends on a somewhat ambiguous note. While there is a good atmosphere built up just from the creepy house alone I found the obvious horror moments to work well, and found this to be engaging.

Despite a few issues with how the story was told here I think that altogether this worked even if at times it seemed to be just on the cusp of being creepy, rather than actually being so. Agapornis is currently in a festival run, being shown around the world.


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