Dances With Films Short Film Review: G-4 (2016)

Hi again ghosts and ghouls! It’s been a long time since I’ve been around writing reviews for you all. Luckily, I had the opportunity to sit down and bang out THREE SHORTS in one day (the other two will be coming soon!). Today’s review will be for the short film G-4 which was a little bit less horror than I was expecting, but definitely in the vein of being relatively creepy.

G-4 is a short story about a woman who becomes obsessed with the facade of being rich – her obsession with material objects, gold, and things that glitter become an all-consuming monster that takes her on a surreal journey to losing everything and rebuilding. It’s a topic many of us face: living in New York; there is a standard that is expected to be maintained, especially living in places like Manhattan or the prestigious Hamptons on the opposite end, on Long Island where I am.

How many times do we post on social media when we buy something new? Even something as minuscule as a Venti Iced Macchiatto in the perfect lighting warrants hundreds of thousands of Instagram likes. We’re constantly building an empire of wealth that we expect to impress people, even if we don’t necessarily have the means to do it.

That’s a lot of what G-4 meant to me. The woman in the films starts off modestly enough, sitting at her table eating a vegetable dinner with full, lush plants around her, symbolizing how the simple things in life help her thrive. As the film progresses, she’s sitting at the table in more extravagant clothes, with bright lipstick, but her plants are dying and withered as the food becomes more bountiful. She sees her change in herself – seeing herself become a shell of what she used to be and sees herself in the “mirror” as someone who has made a deal with the devil, her skin withered and peeling, going from a lighthearted, happy-go-lucky girl to a dilapidated, broken, shriveled and sad mess.

It’s choreography beautifully (and yes, a lot of it is dance) which upon first watch I DID NOT understand in the slightest. I’m definitely not used to seeing dance used in film to convey a story but I’m glad G-4 did it this way. You don’t need words to explain something a lot of people struggle with because their own personal interpretations will be enough.

The first dance is like the woman selling her soul to the devil, men covered in gold dancing around her making it look appealing but she realizes that it’s all a game when they put on masks reminiscent of Satan. The second is between light and darkness, darkness overpowering the light, and we watch the light succumb, painfully, to this dark entity that has essentially stolen her soul. Next we see the woman staring at her own reflection, but she sees herself as a grey, wrinkled pig that has essentially stolen her identity. She doesn’t recognize it but she can acknowledge that it’s her.

I’m genuinely surprised at how effected I was by this short because as the credits rolled, I said to myself “do I consider this horror? I didn’t get it…how am I going to write a review about something I totally didn’t understand?” Once I removed myself and walked away, I said “wow, if my interpretation is wrong then maybe I’ve lost my mind” and it turns out that I was actually correct in how I interpreted the film. It’s artsy, don’t get me wrong, but it’s actually a really strong message about staying humble and not letting yourself succumb to the grossness that has overtaken our society. It’s a cool 25 minute piece if you’re looking for something to help enlighten you about how to get back to your best self. Give it a watch – I’m glad I did.

Taylor Krauss
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