A man suffers in a peculiar way after splitting up from his girlfriend: lies and guilt lead him through an extreme physical reaction…
15 – 20 | 2013 | Body Horror | Epidemic | UK
The man (Austin Hayden) and the woman (Shian Denovan). He cheated on her, she left him. Pale and disheveled, destroyed by remorse and devastated by abandonment, the man wallows in his flat. Alone. Memories hurt, that relationship meant everything. Emotionally and physically torn apart, his body falls into pieces as the pain manifests itself. Swellings, pustules, cuts, scars. Teeth and nails. The days go by, she doesn’t respond to his messages – the TV screen is smashed forever.
Inspired by “melt movies” The Incredible Melting Man and Street Trash, Split is the second body horror directed by Andy Stewart, Scottish journalist/blogger/horror fan-turned-filmmaker. He didn’t attend a film school “or study film in any way other than as a viewer,” following the bloody path of David Cronenberg, Brian Yuzna, Stuart Gordon and Shinya Tsukamoto. Budgeted around £2,500 (£1,310 raised in 1 month via a successful Indiegogo campaign), this emotional and disgusting short tells the story of a separation turning into a mutation. The idea behind the work is quite simple as its storytelling and raw and direct approach. The minimalistic directing style encloses the narrative structure with a near-perfect progression (stunning visuals by DOP Mark Boggis) and the amazing make-up effects created by Grant Mason (FX for Trainspotting and Shallow Grave, he worked on The Wolfman, Sleepy Hollow, Nightbreed and Bride of Chucky) are memorable. Split is finally an extreme, revolting, and aware horror. Feelings, most of all. Rotten and devoured by mistakes and regrets.
Screened at Sitges, Sheffield Celluloid Screams, Grimm Fest and awarded at Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Film Festival, Split is part of Stewart’s Body Horror trilogy started in 2012 with Dysmorphia (a dark tale of self-love and obsession with the body image: budgeted £160!), and finished in 2014 with Ink (turn your body into a work of art now…). Andy is currently working on Redacted, sci-fi horror short described as Species meets Nell. The Indiegogo campaign raised £6,250. Strong stuff.
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