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“Etheria Season 2” Review: Shorts, Just Right

Monday, September 28, 2020 | News, Review

By DEIRDRE CRIMMINS

The Etheria Film Night started out as a celebration of women genre filmmakers. The fest often plays at locations around the country, though its best known was always the premiere night in Los Angeles. The mission has always been to bring the best women directors to the screen and amplify their voices as loud as they can. Now, two collections of Etheria’s short films are available on Amazon prime, with the most recent season going up just last week.

To say that these are some of the best short genre films from the past few years is no exaggeration. These films have played all over the world, at the best film festivals, and have now been curated by Etheria into a greatest genre hits mixtape.

The second season starts strong with SWEET LITTLE UNFORGETTABLE THING (SLUT) by Writer/Director Chloe Okuno. Molly McIntyre plays an impressionable young woman who just wants to get some attention from the boys of her town. When a man decides to put his sights on her, he has no idea who he is up against. The delightful performances make SLUT one of the better shorts to play genre film fests in recent years, and its satisfying vengeance lends nicely to repeat viewings.

Writer/Director Martha Goddard’s GÖDEL INCOMPLETE is one of the more romantic and tragic tales here, led by Elizabeth Debicki. The time travel in the short only leads to heartache, but that may be better than never loving at all.

“These films have played all over the world, at the best film festivals, and have now been curated by Etheria into a greatest genre hits mixtape.”

To save the collection from getting too heavy, SHEVENGE and WITCHES and SHEILA SCORNED all add their own touches of humor. SHEVENGE plays out like an ultra violent take on 9 To 5 with women daydreaming of their own tales of mayhem. WITCHES is a hilarious look at the risks of bored and incompetent spells, and SHEILA SCORNED is a retro throwback to ass-kicking grindhouse days of times past.

Perhaps the grossest and dustiest short in the bunch is EL GIGANTE from co-directors Gigi Saul Guerrero and Luke Bramley. The misadventures of an attempt to cross the border turns into a vision of a Mexican version of the Sawyer family if they were luchador enthusiasts.

The possession road trip of CARVED, apocalypse of ZONE 2, sex trade if COWBOY KILL CLUB all feed into the final film of apartment invasion in SUDDENLY ONE NIGHT. The overarching message is that there is something for every genre lover in Etheria Season 2.

There is no good reason that women still have to scramble and scream to get their work seen. Etheria not only has a noble mission, it also makes it incredibly easy for you to see these filmmakers in their element: making films, telling stories, and lifting women. If that is not worth your attention these days, what is?

ETHERIA: SEASON 2 is now streaming, exclusively on Amazon. 

Deirdre is a Chicago-based film critic and life-long horror fan. In addition to writing for RUE MORGUE, she also contributes to BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH., FILM THRILLS, and HIGH DEF DIGEST. She's got two black cats and wrote her Master's thesis on George Romero.