Let’s be realistic here, folks. Any and all attempts by most filmmakers to fool audiences or provide a surprise twist tend to forecast it twenty minutes into the story. Void of any originality, and with audiences as cynical as they are, it’s a tough feat turning the tables on the viewers (M. Night Shyamalan is living proof).
Russem Production’s “Perfect Red,” however, is that rare short film that actually managed to surprise me as director David Covarrubias pulls the old switcharoo on us with a classic scenario involving a beautiful woman named Morrigan bathing and settling in for a night of relaxation, subsequent her insistence to stay home after her friends beg for her to go out with them one night. We then focus on a group of men breaking into her home to interrupt her serenity armed with a variety of weapons.
What occurs after the skirmish is most unexpected but Covarrubia manages a genuine role reversal and this classic horror film set-up becomes the unlikely ground for sweet revenge. Andrea Harrison gives a pitch perfect performance as this vulnerable artist seemingly outmatched by these large men, revealing an interesting side once confronted. “Perfect Red” relies on keen directorial and editing abilities, and Covarrubias paints a beautiful simplistic setting of dim blues and deep reds all of which gain a correlation with the theme of the short and the purpose of the intruders.
Briskly paced, “Perfect Red” is an excellent little horror short that just may manage to stun even the most experienced cineaste, and without Emile Haris’s clever script, “Perfect Red” would have likely let the cat out of the bag before the credits even rolled. Russem Productions does it again with a short that aims for originality and hits the mark.