An evening that begins with watching a horror video at home turns into a terrifying, surreal night for a young couple in Glass Cabin Films’ short film Vexed. The effort also has some sly humor to it, making for a fun, appealing watch.
Leah (Nosheen Phoenix) is a horror-film aficionado who can’t understand her boyfriend Nick’s (Baker Chase Powell) apathy toward fright fare. He dismisses horror movies as all being predictable retreads of the same ideas. Soon after the video they watched together ends, odd things begin to happen, and when Nick is awoken by strange noises coming from within their home, the couple descend into a night of terror.
Vexed manages to successfully blend a few different subgenres of horror films into its brief running time. I won’t give away what they are, though, because that would be robbing future viewers of enjoyment. Suffice it to say that fans of both supernatural and more down-to-Earth terror will find their interests well represented here.
Nosheen Phoenix is terrific in her charming take on fright-film–fan Leah. She invests her role with a bubbling personality and solid comic timing. Baker Chase Powell is also first-rate as Nick, who claims not to be scared of horror films but finds his bravery waning when the mysterious sounds begin outside the bedroom. Powell shows a believable range of emotions that go from aloof to fearful.
Besides playing the role of Nick, Baker Chase Powell also wrote the screenplay and co-produced the short with director Marc Cartwright. The pair’s collaboration hits all the right notes for scares, laughs, and homage, which is certainly no easy feat. All of the action takes place in Leah and Nick’s apartment, and Cartwright, who also does a fine job with the cinematography here, makes the most of giving a growing, claustrophobic sense of dread to the proceedings. Joe Castro’s special effects makeup work is a blast; again, I want to avoid spoilers so I won’t go into specifics here but the surprises will be worth the wait.
Vexed is currently on an award-winning film festival run. For more information, including future screenings, visit https://www.facebook.com/GlassCabinFilms/.
(4 / 5)