“Undress Me” (2017): Haunting, Metaphorical Body-Horror Short Boasts Disturbing Special Effects

Writer/director Amelia Moses tackles body horror, social anxiety, and the potential aftermaths of unsafe sex straight-on in her unnerving, disturbing short film Undress Me. Although these themes may have been explored in both feature-length and short films before, Moses makes her mark with a chilling character study featuring truly disturbing special effects, and offers food for thought regarding different interpretations of her short.

College freshman Alice (Lee Marshall) seems to be a loner who is determined to fit in at her new surroundings. She attends a fraternity party but initially finds herself a wallflower. After Eric (Leigh Alderson), a slightly older fraternity member, strikes up a conversation with her, Alice awkwardly tries to mimic seductive gestures that she sees happening around the living room and then asks to see his bedroom. The two have sex, and then starting soon after, Alice begins peeling off parts of her skin — and that is just the beginning phase. Even a shocking shower scene is merely a build-up to the gory climax of Undress Me.

Moses packs a great deal into the short’s brief running time (about 14 minutes including credits), and she paces her film well, allowing viewers to get an idea of Alice’s emotional discomfort before building up the horrific metamorphosis that she goes through. Special effects artist K McDonald and makeup artist Ana-Maria Cimpoia bring Alice’s decline to horrific, gut-churning cinematic life. Marshall gives a superb performance as the unfortunate Alice, and Alderson is solid as the young man with whom she begins her downward spiral.

Undress Me is currently on a film festival run, including screenings at the current Fantasia International Film Festival and the upcoming FilmQuest. For more information, including future screenings, visit https://www.facebook.com/UndressMeFilm/.

(4 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry’s formative years were spent watching classic monster movies (starting with "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" and "Godzilla Vs. the Thing") and TV series (starting with "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits"), Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features" and Roy Shires’ Big Time Wrestling (two northern California legends); reading Silver Age and Bronze Age Gold Key, Dell, Charlton, Marvel, and DC comics; and writing mimeographed newsletters about the original "Planet of the Apes" film and TV series. More recently, he has written for "Filmfax" magazine, is the foreign correspondent reporter for the "Horror News Radio" podcast, and is a regular contributing writer to "Phantom of the Movies’s VideoScope" magazine, occasionally proudly co-writing 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.