It is now easier than ever to pick up a camera and shoot a film. It is not, however, any easier than it ever was to create a good film. If you’ve ever dismissed short films as lesser ones, consider that it’s most often a time and budget restraint, not a lack of ideas or desire. Anthologies have long been proof that shorts can be great!
Candy Skin, which sounds both terrible and delicious, is one of those short films that would do well in an anthology such as Creepshow, V/H/S or ABC’s of Death. It was so well done in all areas, especially the music. That’s usually a weak point for shorts in my opinion, really good music that fits. There’s a scene of a man riding in a car that reminds me of Romero‘s original Day of the Dead musically. It sounds 70’s and abrasive. Not to sell anything else short, though, the acting, pacing, concept and quality are all there across the board. There’s no one thing wrong with it, everything works together very smoothly.
Great! Now, what happens?
We’re introduced to our characters at a doctor’s office where they’re discussing and picking up medication. After returning home, David (Renny Jachowicz) dozes off. Upon waking, things begin to get strange pretty quickly. He goes to look for Lynne (Stephanie Moran), his significant-other, and finds her out back doing the yard work that she had asked him for help with before he fell asleep. He turns back around, now she’s gone.
It seems like everyone’s gone. Well, almost everyone. He comes across a couple of less than friendly looking fellows who both terrify and, while offering no hope, help him understand what’s happening.
I really can’t say a lot more about the meat of it than that, I don’t want to spoil it because it is definitely worth seeing on your own.
The FX are great, it’s gross in a really good way. The last shots are very memorable, you’ll likely cringe but have a good feeling coming out of it. It doesn’t feel like it’s just for shock’s sake, it goes with the theme just right. It isn’t one of those films that tries to use good FX in place of story quality, it is tastefully (possible?) disgusting.
What does it all mean? Well, my perception of it may differ from yours but I felt like it was poking a bit at how medications are supposed to help us but can cause bigger issues those they’re supposed to treat. Maybe you won’t see that at all, isn’t that the fun of it?
Before you skip down to the scores, I want to elaborate just a small bit. The story is great, an 8.5 is a good score in a very saturated horror world. Candy Skin is very unique, just sort of reminds you occasionally of other things (which is not a bad thing). It never feels like it’s stealing from nor relying on anything else to make it.