South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival – If you want to be both awe-struck and grossed out then I suggest you catch writer/director Ariel Zengotita’s short film Flick (2021), which is screening in the Midnight Shorts category of SXSW Online 2021.
Having now watched a good chunk of the line-up of shorts offered this year at SXSW Online, I can confidently say that Flick has some of the most interesting camera-work out of all the shorts. The movie seems to be inspired by Japanese creature features, referencing a kaiju-film in its opening shot, and throughout the film, Flick employed a musical score that at times sounded like something that might be used in an Akira Kurasawa movie with bongos in place of taiko drums.
Flick follows a man who seems to be living a solitary existence, sitting around, ignoring calls from his mom, and picking his nose while watching tv. One booger, nevermind its uncommonly larger size, will not come off no matter what methods he tries to discard the pesky booger. The object seems to take on a life of its own, burying deep into his skin and putting up a fight to stay put and not flicked.
When adapted from paper to film, a premise like this, the film could easily translate to silly but Flick was anything but, and this brave script was brought to life with bold and graphic special effects to create body horror and an acting performance from Nate Pringle that was both agonizing and mesmerizing all at once. Starring only a man and his persistent booger, Flick was an unsettling look at annoyance growing into an obsession.
I appreciate movies that elicit a reaction and Flick had me screaming in horror and looking away in disgust, and I have seen the likes of Audition (1999). In short, the movie is kind of brilliant — it has excellent camera movement that heightens a sense of paranoia as the protagonist slips into madness, absolutely horrifying and squirm-inducing body horror, and a perfectly crazy performance from Nate Pringle.
Flick reviewed as part of our South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival coverage.
8.25 out of 10