March 20, 2023

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at [email protected]. He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.


If eye trauma gives you the heebie jeebies, director Javier Devitt’s short horror film Eyestring is certain to press a few buttons. There’s no Un Chien Andalou-level of sudden shock; rather, Eyestring deals more with lingering, building psychological and body horror. Alena Chinault, who cowrote the screenplay with Devitt, stars as Veronica, a young woman who finds a hair growing out of one of her tear ducts one day. The mental health phone service she uses to discuss her obsessive compulsive disorder is of no help in her new situation, and matters escalate as attempts to cut the hair do anything but solve the problem. Could an alternative eye treatment clinic be of help? Devitt and Chinault have crafted a gripping, thought-provoking slice of fear-fare cinema that addresses mental health care while delivering a chilling story. Chinault’s fine performance and Devitt’s solid work at the helm lead toward a jaw-dropping final shot.

The Mundanes

Meet the Mundanes, a suburban family that seems to have much in common with many other familial units in the United States, or so the 1950s-style narration about the Mundanes’ home life would have you think. But this literally faceless family does have a secret that hopefully few others share, and that’s where the horror comes into play. Cowriters/codirectors Nicole Daddona and Adam Wilder use dark comedy along with fright-fare elements in their offbeat look at unsettling desires of seemingly ordinary people that could live and lurk next door to any of us.


EYESTRING and THE MUNDANES screened as part of SXSW, which ran March 10–19 in Austin, Texas.


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