I’ve developed a true passion and appreciation for horror shorts: the more I watch, the more I fall in love with them. A few weeks ago, I reviewed Slit – the Japanese horror short by Pablo Absento and was blown away by the experience. With Women in Horror Month coming to an end, I also wanted to view Absento’s other Japanese short, Shi, to see if I would enjoy it as much as the first. Did it live up to my expectations?
Written, produced and directed by Pablo Absento, Japanese horror short Shi is a story that fuels nightmares and leaves you breathless in runtime of around 8 minutes. The name in itself is a word with a few different meanings including death, which poetically represents this film. The cast stars Justin Berti, Tensei Sugahara, Nigel van der Grijspaarde, and Atsuya Kodama.
An ordinary day starts horribly for the character (Berti) when he receives some bad news. It changes his life right away. Everything would go wrong from that moment on. Can things get worse than the worst?
Pablo Absento proves once again that she has the drive, talent, and true love of horror to be successful in this industry. Shi is intense, creepy, and so incredibly well-made that it’s hard to believe what I just watched was only a short and not a full feature. This is due to the fact that the cinematography by Dmitriy Bobrov and visual effects by Salah Soltane are breathtakingly beautiful and chillingly eerie. It also shows that things can always get worse, even in a matter of seconds. The story can be perceived in different ways as well. What’s really going on? It’s a bit of a mystery to unfold, but I don’t think there’s any wrong conclusion.
The leader actor, Justin Berti, did a phenomenal job at delivering a “run for your life” performance. You can see the paralyzing fear pouring through his body when he first sees the creature and his reaction helps instill that fear into the audience. The creature reminded me of a darker, demented version of the grim reaper.
Beyond that, I must say what I was impressed by the most were the special effects make up by Keisuke Aiso, whose incredible talent to transform Tensei Sugahara into the Shi’s creature makes you question whether magic is real or not. The creature is undeniably terrifying and the thing that nightmares are made of. The features, details, and makeup that went into creating him are of the highest quality and I’m not surprised that Shi was nominated for several awards.
If you want a spooky story that won’t take up much of your time, Shi is the perfect choice for you. It delivers on all aspects including suspense, fear, amazing characters, and a rich story. Pablo Absento is a woman in horror to keep your eye on, so make sure to check out her page as she continues to produce quality horror films. If you’re wanting to watch Shi, you can simply do so by clicking – here.