REVIEW: Undress Me
– By Stephen Harper
They say the best things come in small packages and this is certainly the case with Amelia Moses’ new short film UNDRESS ME.
The film centers on a young college freshman named Alice as she enters a lively fraternity party, in what appears to be a tactic to try and fit in and meet new people or friends. She soon disappears and becomes a wallflower, only to be discovered by a male partygoer and embarks upstairs to his room and into a very uneasy sexual encounter.
The days that follow become extremely surreal and horrific as Alice begins to not only feel dejected but deteriorate physically. When I say physically I truly mean Alice suffers horrendously. Clawing and ripping off parts of her own flesh. There’s one very unpleasant shower sequence that is so well done from performance, direction to SFX that it had me feeling a tad queasy. Unfortunately for Alice and my stomach things don’t let up from there on, but I urge people who don’t like the body-horror genre not to switch off at this point as this is an absolutely terrific little gem. The body-horror is clearly metaphorical for…well I won’t spoil anything, you need to view it for yourself. In fact I think there’s many messages on display here and I haven’t quite made my mind up on which theory I actually prefer best, but that’s one of the film’s major strengths, that it lets the audience decide what message it’s transmitting.
This is the second body-horror short film that has flawed me this year and both with similar characteristics. The first was Jake Hammond’s PIGSKIN, which feels like a sort of companion piece to UNDRESS ME. I’m the first to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of body-horror, but after PIGSKIN and now UNDRESS ME this has changed my entire perception. Mainly because it proves in the right director’s hands, with a pure underlying message, you can produce a piece that’s not only horrifying on the exterior, but also internally.
UNDRESS ME is horror in its purest form. It not only showcases a stunning piece of film, but a director in Amelia Moses that could be potentially one of the most exciting filmmakers around.