Horror Short ‘Ouroboros’ (2018) Review: A Waking Nightmare

Have you ever experienced an uncontrollable surge of fear and panic from which you cannot find relief? A nightmare from which you cannot wake? A horror film you’re forced to experience on repeat without a pause option? Several years ago, this was my reality… a living Hell far scarier than any horror film that I’ve seen, and I’m glad it is behind me. French filmmaker David Teixeira (Mannequin 2019 – read our review here) teams up with Actress Lea N’Kaoua to tackle this horrifying subject matter in his abstract psychological horror short, Ouroboros.

Ouroboros poster artwork

After experiencing a strange reoccurring dream, a girl (N’Kaoua) visits the abandon building that has been appearing to her in her sleep. As she explores the graffiti-riddled inner ruins, she is startled to find that she is not alone. Can she escape from this waking nightmare?

Lea N’Kaoua as The Girl in Ouroboros

Teixeira captures a dreamlike, mysterious feel with a music box tune as the girl wakes and ventures to the abandoned building. Framing each shot with a beautiful grittiness and slightly washed out feel like it is a dream headed into a nightmare, Teixeira demonstrates his eye for detail.

While the filmmaker utilizes his talent behind the camera, N’Kaoua proves her range as an actress by portraying the girl as well as the monster that is revealed. As the girl’s curiosity turns to terror, N’Kaoua sells her fear as well as her psychotic side by portraying the twisted, malevolent creature that seems to take pleasure in chaos.

Lea N’Kaoua as The Monster in Ouroboros

Though N’Kaoua, with the help of wardrobe and makeup, does a phenomenal job of unleashing her inner demon as the monster, I was hoping for more disturbing imagery. Perhaps this was due to budget restrictions or limited resources, but there was still a sense of disconnect between the girl and N’Kaoua. With crazier imagery and a clear connection between the girl and monster, a feeling of danger and panic could have been amplified.

Regardless of limitations, it is clear that Teixeira and N’Kaoua did the best with what they had available. The Exorcist style backbend and walk done by N’Kaoua was an impressive display of talent in itself! However, it is the ending that truly adds a layer of depth to the film. The haunting conclusion that reflects the film’s title captures the feeling of being trapped and unable to escape the threat to one’s sanity. Though some horror fanatics may crave more of a clear-cut plot, I thoroughly enjoyed the abstract, artistic approach to this film. Check Ouroboros out for yourself free of charge by following the link below!

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