Spoiler-Free Short Film Reviews: “Homebody,” “Extreme Gravity,” “Kelly,” “Beholder,” “Red Leather, Yellow Leather,” “Turtle?”, “What I Remember” (Unnamed Footage Festival)

April 3, 2024

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 josephperry@gmail.com. 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.

Following is a roundup of seven of the short films that screened at San Francisco’s Unnamed Footage Festival 2024, shot mostly in found footage or verité styles.


Home surveillance cameras provide the footage for writer/director Andrew J. Paulsen’s Homebody, in which Hannah (McKenzie Jo Frazer) lives in fear of a hooded man who stands outside her house. The proceedings are a bit predictable, but the execution of the plot is well done.


Extreme Gravity (Extrema gravedad)

Writer/director Lorenzo Ayuso’s darkly comic Spanish short Extreme Gravity focuses on a suicidal man whose recording of his farewell video is interrupted by a naked stranger who appears on his windowsill. Irreverent humor is the order of the day with this one, with Álvaro Márquez giving a fine performance as the suicidal individual and David Blanka providing fine voice acting support.



Brazilian short Kelly finds a man (writer/director Luiz Lapin) building a new plastic-bag–headed companion. This short shocker is a true creepfest, calculated to give shudders with its voyeuristic displays of perversity and weirdness.


Cowriters/codirectors/actors Evan Churchill’s and Thomas Pardo’s Canadian short Beholder is a glitch-filled puzzler about an entity inside a camera that consumes a man’s life, leading to obsession and violence. VHS tape effects are not the only thing that suffer degradation in this film about two acquaintances whose relationship is on the way to its deadly end.


Red Leather, Yellow Leather

Writer/director Harry McDonough’s chiller Red Leather, Yellow Leather finds a detective following up on a man’s report about the mysterious incidents involving the latter’s partner. Shot from the POV of the detective with a smartphone providing additional footage, this short deals in the supernatural and serves up an intriguing twist. I’d be thrilled to see more of this world in future short sequels or better yet, a well-deserved feature-length treatment.



Enigmatic Chinese pseudodocumentary Turtle? is director Yangqi Deng’s assemblage of clips from real news shorts, recut into an alternative history version of when, in real life, a turtle crashed through the windshield of a woman’s car while she drove. Was it simply a highly strange accident, the short asks, or a malevolent act by an esoteric force?


What I Remember

What I Remember from writer/director Alex Hera is the most poignant of the shorts reviewed here, as it documents the budding friendship between lonely troublemaker Sam and loner Ryan, who constantly films with his video camera. A drama with low-key thriller elements, the short throws a sudden curve at the end. 

These shorts screened as part of Unnamed Footage Festival, which ran March 26–31 in San Francisco. For more information, visit https://www.unnamedfootagefestival.com/.

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