Dir. Julia E. Cooke
A girl experiences a bizarre and surreal descent into insanity.
Short films can be hard to pull off well. They require a good idea, but often an idea that can't (or shouldn't) be translated into a feature length film, and they often require acting performances that manage to fully flesh out a character in a small period of time. The audience has to be invested and the director has to deliver, and all of this has to be done in a shrunken down timeframe and with, usually, a tiny budget. When done right, though, short films can pave the way for a hugely successful career in cinema, with filmmakers like Sam Raimi, James Wan, Jennifer Kent and countless other directors breaking into the business with a short film that would eventually turn into a massively popular feature film.
Julia E. Cooke may well become one of the next names on this list. Her short Red Yellow Blue is phenomenal, a delightfully terrifying trip into madness through the eyes of a true auteur. Part Repulsion and part Carnival of Souls, Red Yellow Blue is a Lynchian minimalist acid trip that utilizes a fantastic performance from lead Talya Topzand to deliver one of the scariest short films I've ever come across. A disorienting score, jarring visuals, and an unreliable narrator keeps the audience off-balance and on the edge of their seats until the final frames, and I'm not even a little exaggerating when I say this one truly creeped me out.
Most indie directors would've come up with an idea like this and padded it by about 30 minutes and tried to force it into feature territory. Cooke wisely avoids this pitfall and hits that 18 minute sweet spot that prevents the film from overstaying its welcome, and yet it still feels like this one could eventually become a feature with a more fleshed out story. Topzand is a star in the making as well, someone who I could easily see storming into the indie film world in the future. Sydney Stirewalt is incredibly eerie as The Demon, wordlessly delivering the chills needed to truly elevate the film to the next level. Regardless of where any of the three end up in the future, this is one that won't be leaving my mind anytime soon.
Who this movie is for: Short horror lovers, Mindfuck fans, Color demons
Bottom line: Surreal, bizarre, and incredibly jarring, Red Yellow Blue is the Lynchian horror that you didn't know you needed in your life. A truly impressive short, director Julia E. Cooke hits this one out of the park with the perfect length and some genuine scares to boot. Check this one out if you get the chance.