Starring: Nicole Muñoz, Michel Issa Rubio, Edwin Perez, Gabriel Carter
Written by: Shane McKenzie
Directed by: Gigi Saul Guerrero
Short films, when done right, have the ability to showcase a filmmaker’s talent for telling an all encompassing story within a small amount of time. It takes a lot of skill to make a great film in general, let alone one that is without any padding, giving viewers a lean, all in tale. Thankfully, for genre fans, Gigi Saul Guerrero’s CRYPT TV short Mistress of Bones is not only a great example of just that: an excellent short film that proves the potential for short films, but is also a go for broke, hit the ground running film that is one of the most exhilarating horror/action hybrids in quite some time.
Following a duo of grave robbers who bite off more than they can chew, Mistress of Bones does an excellent job of injecting its viewer right into the action, there isn’t a single second in the entire film that isn’t 100 mph. The spirit of the film falls perfectly between The Evil Dead era Sam Raimi and El Mariachi era Rodriguez, feeling like a perfect combination of both. Twist after twist, we’re shown that not only is the duo’s gave robbing adventure an ill advised one, but one filled with backstabbing, the dead rising and the most unexpected twist, a savior tasked with stopping the dead.
Nicole Muñoz is excellent as the film’s title character, a warrior adorned with Día de Muertos-like headwear and ensemble. The imagery in Mistress of Bones is already so striking, that when Muñoz arrives, you can’t help but cheer at how big the world that Guerrero and writer Shane McKenzie has built with the film. What begins as a horror tale of backstabbing and an insane looking corpse, eventually leads into wonderfully executed action sequences that feels as if Sam Raimi had directed The Raid set in the Evil Dead world.
With Hulu/Blumhouse’s Culture Shock and her own Luchagore-produced films like El Gigante, Guerrero has quickly become one of the most reliable filmmakers in the genre and Mistress of Bones not only pushes that potential even further, but shows how potentially massive the filmmaker’s star can be, it’s really one of the most impressive short films I’ve seen in quite a while. Lean, without a single moment of filler, Mistress of Bones is a film that leaves its viewer DYING for more, dying for a feature take on this massive tale, deep within Latin folklore and culture.
Mistress of Bones is a film that leaves its viewer dying for more of its imaginative, world-building horror/action.