[Review] Ferine (Portland Horror Film Festival): Feral Woman Hunts for Hapless Prey in Italian Short Chiller

Italian short shocker Ferine is a grisly tale that borrows from nature, particularly from species that see the female kill her partner after the act of mating. It’s simply told, beautifully presented, and absolutely chilling.

Anna Della Rosa stars as a feral woman who breaks into a house, bathes and dresses up, and then goes to an almost empty parking lot to lure a random male (Alessandro Mor) as a sex partner. What happens after that begins a series of violent acts that lead to the notion that this instance is part of a cycle that likely won’t end anytime soon.

Writer/director Andrea Corsini’s screenplay is very light on dialogue, with Della Rosa giving an eerie, wordless performance. She is unemotional in both the ways of a psychopath and an animal predator. Mor is also strong as the woman’s terrified, confused victim. Corsini keeps viewers as in the dark about the proceedings as the victim himself, allowing the suspense to build and paying things off handsomely. Francesco di Perro’s cinematography is sumptuous, capturing the gorgeous forest shots and the stark parking lot landscapes beautifully.

Ferine is guaranteed to raise goosebumps. It’s a haunting short that is destined to stay with viewers long after it ends.

Ferine screened as part of Portland Horror Film Festival’s virtual edition, which ran June 10 and June 17–21. 

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.