“Vexed” (2016): A Quiet Night In Becomes a Terrifying Ordeal  

An evening that begins with watching a horror video at home turns into a terrifying, surreal night for a young couple in Glass Cabin Films’ short film Vexed. The effort also has some sly humor to it, making for a fun, appealing watch.

Leah (Nosheen Phoenix) is a horror-film aficionado who can’t understand her boyfriend Nick’s (Baker Chase Powell) apathy toward fright fare. He dismisses horror movies as all being predictable retreads of the same ideas. Soon after the video they watched together ends, odd things begin to happen, and when Nick is awoken by strange noises coming from within their home, the couple descend into a night of terror.

Nosheen Phoenix (left) and writer/co-producer Baker Chase Powell star in the Glass Cabin Films short Vexed.

Vexed manages to successfully blend a few different subgenres of horror films into its brief running time. I won’t give away what they are, though, because that would be robbing future viewers of enjoyment. Suffice it to say that fans of both supernatural and more down-to-Earth terror will find their interests well represented here.

Nosheen Phoenix is terrific in her charming take on fright-film—fan Leah. She invests her role with a bubbling personality and solid comic timing. Baker Chase Powell is also first-rate as Nick, who claims not to be scared of horror films but finds his bravery waning when the mysterious sounds begin outside the bedroom. Powell shows a believable range of emotions that go from aloof to fearful.

Nick (Baker Chase Powell) should have paid more attention to the horror movies his girlfriend tried to show him.

Besides playing the role of Nick, Baker Chase Powell also wrote the screenplay and co-produced the short with director Marc Cartwright. The pair’s collaboration hits all the right notes for scares, laughs, and homage, which is certainly no easy feat. All of the action takes place in Leah and Nick’s apartment, and Cartwright, who also does a fine job with the cinematography here, makes the most of giving a growing, claustrophobic sense of dread to the proceedings. Joe Castro’s special effects makeup work is a blast; again, I want to avoid spoilers so I won’t go into specifics here but the surprises will be worth the wait.

Vexed is currently on an award-winning film festival run. For more information, including future screenings, visit https://www.facebook.com/GlassCabinFilms/.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.