BUFF 2018: ‘Evelyn’s Room’ Horror Short Review

Nicole Georgallas’ M.F.A. thesis film, Evelyn’s Room, premiered at the Boston Underground Film Festival on Thursday, March 22. The sixteen-minute short follows Nicole as she goes through her grandmother’s empty house after her grandparents had both passed away.

boston underground film festival

This experimental narrative short from Tootsie Productions is based on true events from filmmaker Nicole Georgallas’ life. Five years after her grandmother, Evelyn, passed away, Nicole visits her Nana’s now empty home, where she stumbles upon memory after memory, reminding her of her time visiting her grandma’s when she was a little girl. Georgallas plays herself in Evelyn’s Room, while Marilyn Lucchi plays Evelyn. Vanessa Urzia plays Young Nicole and Arista Robidas has a small part as Young Heather, Nicole’s sister. Much of the short was filmed right in Nana Evelyn’s original home in Old Tappan, NJ. The rest was filmed in Georgallas’ hometown of Holliston, MA. If that town names sounds familiar, it’s because it’s also the hometown of filmmaker Adam Green, creator of the Hatchet franchise and the TV series, Holliston, based on the town itself.


Evelyn’s Room is a short film that tells the story of a girl in her late 20s who revisits her grandparents’ vacant house five years after their deaths. She questions if the ones we love are really with us after they die.  Exploring the house and remembering her past, she discovers she had more in common with her Nana than she realized.

This 16 minute short (fifteen minutes of story – the first full minute was a black screen) is very personal. As Nicole finds items in her grandmother’s home, memories spark, and she sees herself as a young girl running through the hallways and eating pistachio ice cream in front of the television, her Nana always there. As Shirley Temple serenades from the TV screen, Christmas becomes Easter and time marches on. The stories behind Evelyn’s clown collection comes to light. Nicole sings the sweetest version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” on a dark, lonely stage, only to run offscreen when she’s asked how the song makes her feel. Her world is stuck in a time loop, and every memory triggers an elaborate emotional response.

There’s a lot going on in Evelyn’s Room. Snippets of Nicole’s life as a young girl intertwine with her walk through her Nana’s home. There is symbolism around every corner, with every peek and page infused with meaning. This film is not horror. Not even in the slightest. Does that mean it’s bad? No. It’s certainly not something you’ll want to watch if you’re in the mood for some scares or gore. But if you feel like being a fly on the wall while a young woman makes peace with her grandmother’s memory, look no further than Evelyn’s Room.

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of PopHorror.com, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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