When, in classic slasher movie fashion, a maniac runs rampant through a sorority house bludgeoning its residents to death, viewers might think that things couldn’t get worse for the protagonists. They would be wrong, though, in the case of director David Jeffery’s incredible short film Girl #2.
The short opens with Jenn (Katy Yoder) coming out of her hiding place and surveying the carnage that has taken place so far. She finds another surviving sorority sister, Stacey (Mia Faith), and the two plot what to do once the hulking killer (Michael Bailey Smith) breaks into their hiding place. This conversation is where the real trouble begins!
Girl #2 pulls off both its horror elements and comic moments expertly. The tension is palpable as Jenn sees her sorority sisters lying dead around the house as she tries in vain to find a way to escape. Once actress Kari Wahlgren’s (Gravity Falls; Star Wars: The Old Republic) sharp debut screenplay takes a turn toward the humorous, though, it nails those elements as well, and in quite a biting manner. I will avoid spoilers, but I’ll hint that the comedy focuses on a slasher film trope and how Jenn and Stacey react to that. David Jeffery — well established as a television producer, with such projects as Bones, Prison Break, and Queen of the South to his credit — proves himself as a highly talented director here, which is another huge reason why both the horror and comedy scenes work so cleverly. Neither horror that is based on suspense (as opposed to, for example, mere jump scares or shocking gore) nor comedy is easy to get right, but Jeffery shows he knows how to present both cinematic styles quite well. Director of photography Bradford Lipson, a highly accomplished television cinematographer, captures the events marvelously.
Star Katy Yoder (whose credits include TV series Drop Dead Diva and Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell) is sensational as Jenn. She is pitch-perfect when conveying terror as well as the other heightened emotions her character goes through, taking the comic lead, and performing the physical demands of her role. She is a true talent to keep an eye on. Mia Faith (They’re Watching) is rock solid as Stacey, bringing a great deal of verve to her role. Michael Bailey Smith (no stranger to horror with roles in the 2006 remake of The Hills Have Eyes and 2007’s The Hills Have Eyes II) is also great in his role and even has the chance to stretch the emotions of his killer character out a bit.
Girl #2 is an all-around dynamic effort that horror and horror-comedy fans should go out of their way to seek out. The short is currently on a film festival run, including screenings at the recent Fantasia International Film Festival. It has already captured several awards for best short film and for its cast and crew, and I’m certain that this trend will continue.
(5 / 5)