What does horror mean to you? Everyone depicts and relates to horror in a different way. While some are afraid of ghosts, others are afraid of what’s lurking in the water or the crazy Mama’s boy who is hunting down teens at Camp Crystal Lake. The definition of horror is “an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust.” As a horror fan, I love all types of horror, even the ones that aren’t considered traditional or scream worthy. Raw, terrifying, real-life situations often bring chills down my spine more than the average run of the mill horror story. The intensity of what is going on and the horrifying poetic justice of it all just punches me in the gut and rips my heart out. This is how I felt after watching the dramatic horror short Love is Dead.
Produced by Sickening Pictures, Love is Dead is directed and written by horror journalist and filmmaker Jerry Smith. With this short comes a powerful and disturbing story about the gritty rawness of pain, loss, love, and what it’s like to come face to face with your inner demons. With only a run time of around 10 minutes, this short manages to inflict more emotion, fear, and pain than most full features ever do. Impressive yet scary how Love is Dead easily it messes with your head. This short has interesting cast including adult stars Joanna Angel (Evil Head, Re-Penetrator, Last House), Aaron“Small Hands” Thompson, and Ruben Pla (Insidious, Contracted).
The story follows Peter (Thompson) as he seeks out a therapist (Pla) to deal with the lost of his marriage to Mara (Angel) and the disturbing moments that led to her death while confronting what role he had in it and how he can move on from this tragic situation. Three years have passed and the horror of what happened still remains.
To be honest, Love is Dead is intensely dramatic and downright depressing… but that’s what I love about it. The story was genuinely heartbreaking and uncomfortable, but it made me think and feel, which not all stories can do – especially ones that are only two hand fulls long. Most of the story took place in the shower, if you can imagine, which is a vulnerable place to have a heated discussion about cheating and how to make a relationship work but the scene is effective and powerful. You can’t take your eyes off of these characters and you don’t want to either.
The performances were brutally honest and believable by all parties. Aaron Thompson hasn’t done much acting, but perfectly plays the role of an egotistical prick who doesn’t see the error of his ways until it’s too late. Meanwhile, he is able to switch it up by showing a different side of his character – one who is capable of remorse and regret.
Joanna Angel is known her for her adult star roles – I just love the names of the films she’s been in. How can you not love the titles Killer Kleavage from Outerspace or Killer Head? Angel gives a heart wrenching performance as a wife whose breath and soul have been broken by the man she loves. Not only that, but he gets immense pleasure in mocking her pain and humility with heartless mind games. The ridicule and reality of the situation becomes to much for her to bare. Does he finally realize what he’s done?
I also loved Ruben Pla’s character in Love is Dead. He’s like the Dr. Phil of horror movies. He always tells it like it is and the same can be said in this short. As a therapist, Michael listens to his patient and doesn’t say much, but when Peter is done telling his story, he sternly tells him the reality of the situation in a harsh and straightforward way – essentially saying, “You were a prick, your actions caused pain to someone who loved you and to yourself, get over it and move on.”
Love is Dead is a fantastic and powerful story despite being a hard one to stomach. No, it’s not gory or bloody – it’s a short that shows the reality of how horrifying life can be. Love is Dead shows how we go from a happy and loving relationship to one full of pain, misery, and mockery – how easy it is to switch a flip. I highly recommend you watch this short and you can do so for free on Vimeo by clicking here. Viewer beware, though, as the short is NSFW – containing nudity, violence, and crude language – everything you could hope for, right? We hope you enjoy and let us know what you think!