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  • Rev Horror

Velma

Dir. Scarlet Moreno (2022)

A young woman is looking for love in all the wrong places.


Effective shorts are hard to come by, especially ones that are as competently made and as compelling as director Scarlet Moreno's Velma. At just 14 minutes, it manages to build dread and a sense of emotion more expertly and succinctly than most films do as a feature, telling its story without needing to expound upon it any more than absolutely necessary. Velma (played by Moreno herself) is a tragic character, driven by desire and compulsion, searching for the perfect one (Zach Tinker) and truly believing that she'll know him when she sees him. But will he truly break the mold, or will he become just another in a long line of suitors that let her down?

Gorgeously shot and with a technicolor aesthetic, Velma nails a midcentury American look while having all of the giallo stylings of the Italian masters. Crayon red blood, an Old Hollywood feel, and a magnificent performance by Moreno on both sides of the camera help this one feel much more than the sum of its parts. It's a short that truly shows that Moreno knows what she's doing, and it's one that teases its audience just enough to leave them wanting more without feeling the pressing need to tell it all. It's beautiful and charming without overstaying its welcome, which is an underrated talent that most short-form filmmakers simply do not have. While there may be a whole lot within this short that will surprise its audience, it's so perfectly handled that that's perfectly acceptable.

Who this short is for: Giallo fans, Psychological horror lovers, 50's housewives


Bottom line: Velma is a fantastic short near-perfectly done. It doesn't break the mold, and you've likely seen something like it before, but writer/director/star Scarlet Moreno handles the whole thing expertly and with a visionary flair. She's got a fuckton of talent, and I'm incredibly excited to check out her other work and what's coming in the future. She's got an eye that not many directors have, and I think she's got a lot of potential if she can translate her talents into feature-length work.

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