[Review] IVI ELV [Southern Cone International Film Festival]: Italian Short Gives a Twisted Tour Through Grim Passageways

Writer/director Luigi Scarpa’s Italian horror short IVI ELV (2022) is an eldritch tour through dark corridors, reminiscent of classic gothic Eurohorror through a decidedly modern lens. 

This macabre cinematic journey finds a man (Corrado Bega in a fine performance) waking up among maggots in a dark area. As he wanders through the building, visions — Are they hallucinations? Memories? Nightmares? — come to him, and as the 11-minutes running time of the short unfolds, viewers continually learn further horrors that plague the man.

Umberto Ottaviani’s cinematography is top-notch, perfectly capturing the mysterious proceedings in hues of black, grey, and dark blue, along with the man’s disturbing visions coming across in more vivid, bright flashes.

Scarpa does terrific work at the helm and on editing, pacing the story expertly while slowly unfolding its supernatural mysteries. The payoff is well worth the buildup. IVI ELV’s tone is one of dread and eeriness throughout. Aficionados of creepy horror films that chill from their opening shots onward should find the short well worth seeking out, as Scarpa delivers a work that serves as a fine effort from a highly talented fear-fare filmmaker. 

IVI ELV, currently on the film festival circuit, most recently screened as part of the Southern Cone International Film Festival, which took place in Valparaiso, Chile from May 19–22, 2024. 

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.