[Review] The Unvisited: Short Fantasy Film Takes a Lighthearted Approach to Issues with the Elderly and Their Families

Writer/director Rebekah Fieschi’s latest short film The Unvisited is a playful fantasy exploration of growing older and being separated from immediate family. Though the short has supernatural and horror overtones, the emphasis is on the messages the film delivers rather than shudders and shocks.

An aging couple (Cathy Washburn and Kathi Bairnes) live with their cat in a spacious, well-appointed home surrounded by a lovely garden. So it is no wonder that they don’t want to take their adult daughter (Anna Eppe) up on her invitation to move closer to her and her young children (Khara Muniz and Zoe Muniz) in a large, busy city. The two elderly ladies love each other and their simple lifestyle — but they would really love for their daughter and grandchildren to come visit once in a while. 

It’s difficult to reveal much more about this five-minute short without giving away its punchlines, story reveals, and messages, but suffice it to say that Fieschi has captured — in a blithe, entertaining manner — the essence of what many folks in the aging population around the world have to deal with on a daily basis. As usual with her shorts (including the horror comedy Mauvaises têtes (2015) and the fantasy Sylvania Grove (2018), The Unvisited boasts great direction, wonderful set design, and solid performances from its cast. Adam Harvanke’s cinematography is sharp, and Zak Millman’s lively score and Brume Studio’s sound design fit the proceedings perfectly. Camilla Susser’s makeup effects add an otherworldly edge to the presentation.

The Unvisited is currently on the film festival circuit, and will be screening at the Queens World Film Festival as part of the “It’s not the years, it’s the miles” block which will screen at the Queens Theatre June 26th at 7PM EST, and online on Film Festival Flix on June 28th at 8PM EST at https://filmfestivalflix.com/festival/qwff/film/the-unvisited/

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.