Art by Tyler James Nicol

Did you know that a bite from the Boomslang snake can “cause you to bleed from all the holes in your body?” Did you know that female snakes tend to be larger than their male counterparts?

I didn’t until today when I had the chance to screen REPTILE HOUSE, the new short film by Tristan Risk. A director, writer, actress, and burlesque performer, Risk is the definition of a quadruple threat. But her list of accomplishments is made all that more impressive when you learn that she is also a skilled reptile handler with a background in the species’ husbandry.

Photo Credit: Scott Alexander

While Risk has no doubt been asked many questions about her artistic work, at some point she noticed just how many questions she had been asked about her passion and work with reptiles. Someone else in her shoes might have just written a blog post or started a tweet thread to share their answers, but Risk decided to set her sights higher and produce a short horror film on the subject. 

In REPTILE HOUSE, a man comes to a woman’s house in the hopes of purchasing a pet snake. But what starts as a simple business transaction turns into something much more deadly when the potential buyer reveals just how ignorant he is about the reptiles he wants to own.

This was a fun little “neo-giallo” that combined the right amount of fascinating information and horror-themed entertainment. From the first moment, I was drawn in thanks to the lush production design and dramatic, saturated colored lighting. 

Photo Credit: Scott Alexander

Sharai Rewels is fantastic as Thena, the reptile owner, playing her character with the same smooth, graceful manner as the creatures she loves, while Jesse Inocalla serves as the perfect unsuspecting stooge. 

If you’re looking for a quick watch that delivers a few thrills while also expanding your knowledge, give REPTILE HOUSE a watch. REPTILE HOUSE is currently making the festival rounds. 

Photo Credit: Scott Alexander
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