Review for ALTER’s New Horror Short ‘Stucco’ (2020)

Stucco is an SXSW 2020-nominated short film with a star-studded cast that is now available on Gunpowder & Sky’s horror brand ALTER. This is a pretty powerful story that will stick with you long after you’re done watching it.


This short was co-directed and co-written by Janina Gavankar (True Blood, The Way Back) and Russo Schelling. Gavankar also executive produced the film and stars alongside Debra Messing (Will & Grace), Roby Attal (Red 11), Rafael Casal (Blindspotting), Michael Ealy (Barbershop), and many more.

Synopsis for Stucco

An agoraphobic woman tries to hang up a painting, knocks a hole in her wall, discovers a room on the other side, and then the unraveling begins!

With the current state of the world, agoraphobia doesn’t seem so bad but that’s easier said when you don’t have it. I personally don’t suffer from this condition, but I know others that do and I’ve come close to never wanting to leave my house. Sometimes my depression and anxiety make it damn near impossible to embrace the outside world and this is what Stucco is about plus much more.


Ever since watching True Blood, I’ve known Janina Gavankar is a phenomenal actress. She dominates the screen with her presence and you can’t look away nor do you want to. She delivers an emotionally powerful performance in Stucco that allows you to feel her pain, anger, and fear.

The short takes a whole new turn, when she accidentally bangs a hole in the wall and discovers a surprise mystery room in her home. It’s something out of a nightmare, but despite her anxiety and depression, her curiosity about the unknown wants to know more about this room and what’s in it.


The special effects are absolutely amazing in this short and help create a nightmarish atmosphere for this bizarre yet incredibly relatable story. They’re created from the company called Thingergy, which is a premier special FX costume, prop, and makeup shop in Burbank California.

Final Thoughts

I think everyone will interoperate this short differently. However, if you suffer from a mental illness, it’s a powerful and triumph story of anger, the mystery of the unknown, and conquering your own fears. Check it out and let us know what you think!

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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