Etheria Film Night is more than just another genre film festival. The event is a showcase for short films made by women directors. Due to COVID-19, this year’s event has had to make changes. The shorts will be streaming on Shudder from June 19-July 20.
The shorts visit a wide range of themes familiar to fans of genre films. The nine entries will not be shown individually. Instead, they will all be shown in one compilation. This is similar to a horror anthology except without the overarching story.
Many of the films hit the audience with an emotional gut punch. Australia’s Maggie May deals with indifference in a violent way that is relatable. Conversion Therapist is an LGBTQ revenge fantasy that is especially relevant in today’s world. Along with genuine scares, the shorts are unafraid to make social commentary.
The Etheria 2020 shorts are also very gruesome. Conversion Therapist deals with torture, for example. The Final Girl Returns begins with a massacre. Maggie May’s violence goes beyond being visceral. It also provides what are sometimes the worst scares – the one the audience imagines.
Horror is not the only genre represented, however. There are also some science fiction shorts from Etheria. Live is especially topical as it deals with livecasting. It exists in a world not unlike the real one; there are few jobs and conflict means more views. Ava in the End tackles a virtual purgatory while Offbeat is similar to a Kurt Vonnegut story.
Comedy is not in short supply with the Etheria shorts. The interesting thing is the various ways in which it is found. Offbeat and Conversion Therapist deal with humerus premises. Maggie May has moments of dark comedy. Waffle is definitely a horror movie but may be the silliest of all the entries. The films deal with grim topics, but still do a great job of injecting levity.
The Etheria Film Night may not have gone through as planned. However, thanks to Shudder, the nine short films scheduled for the event have found a home. The films are a fine mix of horror and science fiction that will definitely entertain fans of both genres.
The Etheria 2020 Shorts premier on Shudder June 19th.