Feeling hungry? Probably best to not watch the latest episode of World of Death on a full stomach. This week serves up two hearty shorts that might just give you a new meaning to the phrase “food for thought.”
Our first dish is David Romero’s brilliantly animated MIDNIGHT SNACK. The short opens with a homeless man seeking refuge from a brutal blizzard inside an abandoned apartment complex. As the storm rages on, the man grows hungry and discovers a strange edible substance inside a hole in the building’s wall. The man uses this to solve his hunger but quickly finds that he may have swallowed a bigger problem than intended.
Romero uses visuals and sound design to incredible effect here. Although the storm is violent and all encompassing, there is an uneasy sense of peacefulness that makes the man’s attempt at refuge seem more like an intrusion. Romero confidently dedicates plenty of time to the man’s ghostly flashlight beam as it drifts around the interior of the building. This clever technique reveals small details that can help the viewer piece together the narrative at large.
What I found most striking about Midnight Snack is the director’s use of animation and practical sets. There is something extremely eerie about the physicality of the building that creates a particularly hostile atmosphere. This thick tension builds and builds until finally released in a pulse-pounding chase that will have you wondering why you don’t see more animated horror films out there.
Our next dish is Rocco Magsam’s MMM; an ambitious short with a suspicious lunchtime exchange that soon descends into depths, similar to Julia Ducournau’s 2017 breakout hit Raw.
What becomes most appealing about Mmm is the clever withholding of information, which fuels the conflicted actions of our high school protagonist. Grungy, garage rock music blares as the young woman storms into her suburban home. She confronts her mother regarding the moral struggle she has developed with eating meat. The viewer can’t help but get the sense that director Magsam is making a point that the values instilled in us by our family and those of our peers can create chaos inside a growing teenage brain.
There are some technical issues in Mmm that I expect will be polished in Magsam’s next filmmaking venture. However, it’s the brave storytelling that outweighs any doubts in his filmmaking abilities. When all is revealed, we are left with a darkly ironic image that takes the carnivore debate to a new, extreme level.
– Jordan Wippell
World of Death is the web series that fans of independent horror have been waiting for. Featuring short horror films from all over the globe created by the largest variety of talent that a collection has ever been able to boast, WOD provides plenty of blood, guts, screams and laughs for all fans of the macabre. And with episodes averaging around eight minutes in length, WOD is the perfect entertainment for a fan base constantly on the go. Watch it anywhere, at any time, for FREE! New episodes premiere every Monday and Thursday at 10am CST.