Auteur Patrick Rea has delivered short-horror-film gold once again with Pillow Fright. With its combination of absurd premise, sharp humor, and startling kills, this 5-minute mini-marvel is well worth watching.
Four college girls (Jessi Burkette, Jennifer Seward-De Rock, Jessica Logsdon, and Kristin Rea) spend an evening playing with a Ouija board, trying a levitation experiment, and doing tequila shots before deciding to have a pillow fight. One of the pillows is in particularly bad shape afterward, torn open with its stuffing strewn on the floor. After the girls doze off, the surviving pillows band together to exact revenge.
Yes, you read that correctly. The pillows aim to avenge their fallen comrade. If you think that premise sounds stupid and like a potential waste of time, you have likely never caught any of the talented and prolific writer/director Patrick Rea’s previous horror-comedy shorts, such as the fun-filled Howl of a Good Time (reviewed here). Rea cleverly delivers on his amusing premise and he knows how to deliver some inventive kills that elicit “ugh”s between the laughs.
Jessi Burkette gets the most screen time among the four leads, and she gives an enjoyable performance as the first of the girls to discover the polyester-filled terror that comes to call. The rest of the leads give entertaining turns, as well, as they are attacked and sometimes try to fight back – in an original twist on the “Chekhov’s gun” trope, if you’re going to show a tequila-filled toy water pistol, you’d better use it.
Patrick Rea gives life to the pillows in such a way that two or more merely sitting upright on the floor come across as menacing, and when they attack, they are animated in crafty ways using practical effects.
Patrick Rea’s shorts are shot, edited, scored, and designed in a consistently reliable manner, and have a unique if not easily definable feeling, and Pillow Fright is no exception. If you haven’t yet been introduced to his oeuvre, this short is an engaging place to start. It’s available to watch on YouTube here.
Pillow Fright: (4 / 5)