Panic Fest Review: MALACOSTRACA (2018)

Hey, there fellow fright fiends! I’m back with another review! This time we’re diving into the short film titled MALACOSTRACA. Here is a very brief description of the film:

“A failing writer loses his grip on reality as his wife grows pregnant with their child.”

The first really positive thing I wanted to bring up is how beautiful the combination of the score and cinematography worked together. An utterly terrific combination that worked so well for a 15-minute short. (Thirteen minutes to be precise if you don’t include the credits). During times of lightheartedness the score felt incredibly elegant. In times of darkness or scenes that gave a much eerier vibe, the score worked with the cinematography to help establish a very ominous tone. In my opinion, as a viewer, this worked very successfully throughout the duration of the viewing.

It’s clear that the character “Chris” is losing his grip on reality with flashes of his obscure visions. There are repeated scenes where he sees his own daughter as some sort of lobster-monster-baby while his wife acts incredibly calm, though she does appear angered or concerned about Chris’s well-being. Chris is a writer fighting what appears to be some sort of writer’s block, and his small victories within this don’t really appear to please his wife, especially since his sanity is driving him to manifest some pretty foul hallucinations.

I think one thing that will really drive attention to this film is its simplicity and the familiarity it offers, not necessarily within the characters but more with the creature. The lobster-monster-baby is what contributes this movie to fall in the margin of a creature feature, a film genre that most horror fans dearly love. While watching MALACOSTRACA I saw things that reminded me of other movies like Basket Case or that one scene from Cronenberg’s The Fly; you know, the scene where Geena Davis gives birth to that maggot.

Honestly, MALACOSTRACA is a really fun film and I hope to see it flourish into something a bit longer. I’d love to see more of Chris’ madness and struggles between losing his grip with reality and how that is applied to his relationship with his wife and more of the lobster baby. I want to see this situation escalate. Although the film had a gruesome ending tied to it, I would have loved so much to see everything pan out over time.

If you have a chance to check this out, please treat yourself. I am sure you’ll enjoy this psychological body horror roller coaster as much as I did!

Devin March
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