Stranger With My Face Short Film Review: WHAT HAPPENED TO HER (2017)

Good evening my fellow fans of the macabre! Tonight we take another turn in a different direction as we dive into Chuparosa Films WHAT HAPPENED TO HER, directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and narrated by Danyi Deats.

WHAT HAPPENED TO HER is a forensic exploration of our cultural obsession with images of dead women on screen. Interspersing found footage and one actors experience of playing the part of a corpse, the film offers a meditative critique on the trope of the dead female body.

As if the description of the film isn’t interesting enough, the short opens with the corpse of a dead woman floating in what appears to be a creek or river while some men are commentating on the discovery.

Seconds later, a woman (Danyi Deats) begins to narrate the short as she begins to explain how she began to play the part of a lifeless corpse through films and television programs. She begins to explain how she wasn’t entirely comfortable with the concept of being naked while filming or having to be submerged in water or buried in sand. She continues on to what I thought was a really interesting tidbit of info, which is that Hollywood essentially assists in making you comfortable with this by offering you more and more money to show more skin and get dirtier. Not dirtier in a “sexy” sense but literally dirty, like covered in dirt or gross water.

The short also partially walks you through the process of applying make-up to create that dead look and how it can take over 2-1/2 hours to prepare for a role where you basically just lay there and allow actors to manipulate your body accordingly. This isn’t something that I could see myself being okay with so I can only imagine being exposed in the process.

You also get a mild explanation of the filming process and the thoughts that were going through her head while filming the “death” or “kill scenes” and how it can be mildly terrifying about what you’re doing and if the acting is maybe going to far.

Aside from how downright fascinating I can see this being to any typical horror fan, it also branches out to other audiences, like true crime television series fans. With that being said, there were a ton of clips of dead women being discovered or autopsies from shows like “Criminal Minds”, “Law and Order” as well as a handful of movies. I think this was one of my favorite aspects of the visuals provided during the 14 minute short.

I can easily say I’ve never seen anything like WHAT HAPPENED TO HER and honestly wished it was longer. It could totally be made into at least an hour long documentary that includes face-to-face interviews with other women that play the roles of corpses.

Don’t cheat yourself and give WHAT HAPPENED TO HER a watch, it’s totally interesting from start to finish!

Devin March
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