“Counter Parts” (2014): Suffering Twin Seeks Voodoo Vengeance

Director Patrick Rea delivers a wicked little tale of sibling rivalry and voodoo in his short film Counter Parts. The film opens with twin sisters (Somyia Finley) fighting over a doll as youngsters; then the story brings us to the present, where one sister is a famous actress, Alexis McCoy, with addiction issues and the other, Sandra, has recently been struck blind and left with only one leg from a car accident. The two sisters have an awkward meeting, after which Alexis’s unhappy maid Beatrice (Millie Milan) slips Sandra a business card for voodoo practitioner Madame Wanga (Lonita Cook). Sandra and her driver (Jim Schweers) visit Madame Wanga, and the suffering sister devises a bargain to improve the quality of her life – at Alexis’s expense, of course.

The screenplay for Counter Parts, cowritten by Patrick Rea and Michelle Davidson, is infused with dark humor and is written handily enough that viewers get to know these twins and their relationship right off the bat – something quite important in a short with a running time of about 11 minutes. It also manages to throw in a couple of clever twists in that short running time.


Somyia Finley does a wonderful job portraying both both sisters. She plays Sandra first as a tragic figure and then as a calculating, black-hearted soul, while giving Alexis a sense of sharp-tongued arrogance. Finley is on the screen for the majority of the running time and is a pleasure to watch. Lonita Cook is quite good as Madame Wanga, displaying devilish grins that show her character knows that voodoo spells rarely, if ever, work out the way customers want. The rest of the supporting cast has much smaller roles but everyone gives impressive turns.

Alexis McCoy (Somyia Finley) is a celebrity whose addiction issues become the least of her problems in Counter  Parts.

Patrick Rea always delivers high quality as a director and Counter Parts is no exception. He is assisted well here by frequent collaborators, including director of photography Hanuman Brown-Eagle and composer Julian Bickford.  Rea has found a nifty niche in the horror genre with his marvelously crafted, always entertaining short films. It would be great to see him and his shorts, including Counter Parts, reach a wider audience.  

Counter Parts: 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.