Starring Elizabeth Debicki, Javier Godino, David James
Directed by Heidi Lee Douglas, Arantxa Echevarria and 5 others
Boasting a lineup of some of the best short films canvassing a wide array of genres (horror, comedy, and drama to name a few), Etheria Film Night has become a launching pad for budding female filmmakers, and some of the products to come out of this event have been remarkably solid. This brings us to my latest review of 7 From Etheria, and at the risk of my fat fingers cramping up from typing a septet of names, trust me when I tell you this collaboration is indeed a memorable one… however (cue ominous music)…
The film boasts a robust 7-piece core, and since there’s no wraparound story, we get tossed head-first into the fire with the first tale, which is about a couple of scientists who come into possession of an alien-like goo that has been captured from space, then mistakenly falls into the hands of one of the scientist’s daughters, who’s partying her buns off at a snowy rave. Needless to say, the after-effects of ingesting this stuff is extremely hazardous to whoever comes in contact with the user. A nice way to jet off of the starting blocks here, and I was genuinely impressed with the cinematography in this one.
Next up is an odder-than-odd quickie about a woman who longs to gain back some past glory from her gelatin-wrestling heyday (no, I’m not kidding). It’s very odd, very misplaced, and just an overall drop-off from such a strong opening presentation.
The third short is about a mother and her blind son, who are trying to survive amidst an apocalyptic backdrop – ultimately surprising, but the payoff left me scratching the skin off of my skull.
Story number four is a white-knuckled thriller about a woman whose quiet evening with her cat is interrupted by a man who claims that someone has broken into his upstairs apartment – a very creepy set of occurrences are to follow, and this one will have you wondering just who’s telling the truth here. One of the film’s best productions, top to bottom.
The fifth entry is about a woman who is attempting to further progress the time-travel theorem put forth by Kurt Godel in 1949, and if you needed a nap, this is the short in which to rest your eyes – talk about stomping on the brakes.
The sixth entry – which follows a female penal colony in the early 1800’s and a convicted woman’s chilling stretch on her “guardian’s” property – somewhat reminded me of The Witch, complete with a cute little lamb thrown in for evil measure (tiny bit of sarcasm). Not a bad way to kill around twenty minutes; but this one, like a few others tossed into the mix, is one of those displays that needs much more time to amply expand into what could be a decent full-length production.
The final yarn is one that could be one of those instances that befalls anyone in today’s society – the threat of a carjacking and its crippling after-effects. This one is simple, to the point, and ultimately shocking – hands down my favorite out of all the short films collected for this entire movie.
Overall, 7 From Etheria won’t blow anyone away with its random assortment of mini-showcases, but it still should set into motion some already promising careers that look to be on the rise. Aside from the consistently up-and-down pacing of the shorts, I can at least recommend this as a one-time viewing and am already looking forward to next year’s submissions.