A young girl called Alexis Reeves, who has lost her hearing, regains it after witnessing her father murder her mother one night, and she attacks the former with a kitchen instrument, killing him. With her hearing regained in later life, she now lives as an adult (played by Jasmin Savoy Brown) in modernday LA. She teaches musical theory at college, and with her flatmate and college buddy bestie Marie (Lili Simmons) conducts various “sound experiments” such as recording various sexual activities. These start to get more bizarre such as bondage, as Alexis finds a connection between capturing the sound of violent actions and gaining a sexual thrill.
She also seems to briefly lose her hearing again and panics, and then starts experimenting by torturing a homeless man to death, beating him with other blunt instruments in a nod to “Saw”. This seems to let her regain the original thrill of killing her father, while recording the death-throes sound effects. Alexis returns to her normal life, half living with Marie and half in her family’s RV, but the corpse is found; as she wasn’t wearing gloves during the torture, it’s surprising she’s not more worried about being caught.
She continues torturing a range of victims with sound experiments, including a tenor singer who she straps up with electrodes and explodes in a recording booth in a nod to “Scanners”. There’s also a quietly-gory scene where Alexis spikes a harpist’s drink causing her to play the chords in a manner that cuts her fingers and slices her face down the strings, to Alexis’ delight while she records this.
Writer and director Alex Noyer has produced a clever film which seems to want to be a lowbudget “Neon Demon” – everyone’s suffering, if not dying, for their art in LA, while trying to turn themselves into a walking art installation and thing of beauty – and there’s some likable performances from Brown and Simmons. There are some unexplained loose ends: why do the two start flirting with each other at the end but then never mention it again?
Nina Romain is living proof that small children shouldn’t be taken trick-or-treating in Alabama in the 1980s – as they tend to end up obsessed with the creepier side of Halloween! Her horror shorts tend to be shot half in the seedier side of Los Angeles and half in the darker side of the UK: her favourite LA found footage short to shoot centred on a romantic Valentine’s Day that goes horrifically wrong. She blogs for Raindance, reviews scripts, and is obsessed with gingerbread latte (or any other Halloween-themed drink). You can find her on www.girlfright.com or IMDB