Final Girls Berlin Film Festival 2020 Review – Graveyard Shift Short Film Block

During Women in Horror Month the amazing Final Girls Berlin Film Festival takes place for three days, celebrating films that are directed, written, or produced by women and non-binary filmmakers.

I had the pleasure of watching the Graveyard Shift Short Film Block, which was made up of six short films: Neurotica Episode 1: Eureka!, The Vampire of Soho, Zombiosis, Infernal Requiem, Girl in the Shed, and Altitude.

First up was Neurotica Episode 1: Eureka!, directed by Laura Moss (Fry Day) and starring Karen Gillan (Oculus), Jon Bass (Molly’s Game), and Jillian Bell (Rough Night).

Synopsis: “A chronic procrastinator meets an otherworldly being responsible for giving humanity its great ideas.”

This was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting to start off with such a quirky and absurd comedy about a girl Chloe (Gillan), who has always lacked the drive to finish what she started. But she’s determined this time, thanks to a visit in her dreams to a stark bureaucratic office where all great ideas come from. It’s a bad idea — but she’s going to own it.

This was a lot of fun, and the quirky bureaucrat in her dreams was hysterical. And to be honest, who doesn’t have an idea clattering around in their head they haven’t finished yet?

A must see!

Next up was The Vampire of Soho, a moody little short by Andy Edwards (Three’s a Shroud). It stars Amelia Bennett (Where the Skin Lies), Nic Lamont (Egomaniac), and Sam Francis Harman (The Skin You’re In).

Synopsis: “Set in early 80s London, the film tells the story of Mel, an idealistic young girl who falls in with a bad crowd – vampires.”

One of the shorter offerings, which was a shame, as I wanted it to go on longer. This was a very edgy, dark, and moody film. The hair and makeup were just incredible. Unfortunately, this didn’t feel like a complete story to me.

It felt long on style, and short on story.

Next up was Zombiosis, directed by Cris Gabin (Humans) and Toni Pinel (Anna). It stars Lara Vacas (Humans), Sergi Delgado (Spanish Movie), and Toni Pinel (Anna).

Synopsis: “A woman does whatever she can to keep her boyfriend under control, but zombies are notoriously difficult to tame.”

This was a fun one. It started with a nice bloody opening, where a woman sneaks up on a zombie in a field and methodically dispatches it. Then it switches to a sad kind of love story. What would you do if the love of your life turned into the undead? Could you really let them go?

I enjoyed this one a lot. This was the one of the six that cranked up the blood and gore factor. And it did a hell of a job, as the effects were fantastic!

This is a great watch for all horror fans!

Infernal Requiem is directed by Barbara Como

Synopsis: “Alice arrives at an old hostel in Rome to meet her childhood friend Nicole. When she arrives at the hostel, Alice begins to have unexplained illnesses and strange visions, including the ghost of an old nun. Terrifying secrets hidden by time between the ancient walls will reveal the true nature of the place.”

I’ll be honest. While I thought this one was beautifully filmed, and took place in a wonderfully creepy location – I honestly did not understand what was going on. There seemed to be two story lines going one that didn’t really go together.

This film was a definite miss for me.

The Girl in the Shed is directed by Sophie Ansell and stars a quirky and adorable Venice van Someren.

Synopsis: “Desperate to make some normal friends, a lonely girl gets ready to attend a party. But she has skeletons in her cupboard, literally. The Girl in the Shed is a darkly comedic fairytale exploring modern themes of anxiety and FOMO.”

This is the story of a girl (Venice van Someren) who literally has a skeleton in the closet (a bedazzled one!) but is only longing for acceptance and an invitation to a party or two. She’s surrounded by all of her wonderful things, but is missing friends.

This was a sticky sweet film, with hints of rot around the edges, and I just loved it. It was full of a collection of the most wonderful knick knacks: Furby, a sex doll, an aquarium toy, bedazzled snails, and more. I’m not sure how much of a story line it had, but it was so long on style I could forgive anything.

A fun watch for lovers of the quirky side.

Finally came the last (and my favorite of all the films): Altitude. It was directed by Nicole Scherer and stars Teresa Bonisch and David Miesmer.

Synopsis: “On their way up to a mountain cabin, Sarah and Thomas run into a dense mist and seem to go astray in the dangerous altitudes. In search of the cabin they encounter increasingly strange events. Lost in those heights, eventually a life-threatening battle between reality and illusion begins…”

Oh good, another film that makes hiking and camping look like the absolute worst possible time! Seriously though, the visuals are absolutely stunning. They capture every bit of the cold, wet, misty, and creepy landscape. It will practically make you shiver.

It reminds me of another film I adore: Yellowbrickroad. Both use sound to disorient characters and heighten fear. And they do so effectively!

This film, out of the six, tells the most complete story while setting a chilling tone. Absolutely the best of the bunch!

So get out there and find these films everyone!

About Christine Burnham

When not writing, Christine Burnham is watching TV, Horror films, reading, cooking, and spending time with her menagerie of animals.

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