Horror is a film genre that seeks to elicit fear or disgust in its audience for entertainment purposes. Horror films often explore dark subject matter and may deal with transgressive topics or themes. Broad elements include monsters, apocalyptic events, and religious or folk beliefs. Oftentimes, the cinematic techniques applied in horror films have been known to provoke a range of psychological reactions in an audience.
Horror films have come a long way, having existed for more than a century. Horror only became a formally acceptable genre after the release of Dracula in 1931. Before long, after some decades, lots of sub-genres such as, Body horror, Comedy horror, Slasher films, Supernatural horror and Psychological horror have emerged from it.
Horror short films are an offshoot of horror films. The only difference is they are concise, straight to the point and seems to leave the audience with some mind-boggling questions that may not be answered within the confines of the film, but only by their putting two by two to get the full gist.
Riparian, a short horror film directed, edited and its visual effects composed by Jayesh M. Mehta, fits this bill. It gets you wondering what could actually be happening here until the film ends. Just a minute and forty-eight seconds only, and shot on a very low-budget by the filmmaker, this one-cast film judiciously explores sound, cinematic lighting and subtle visual effects to elicit “this is gonna be that night you ain’t gonna get some sleep” feeling in your consciousness. Its uniqueness stems from the fact that we aren’t seeing anything until we have seen it. Such an insightful film!
Riparian is a body horror. Or, you may call it biological horror. This is a subgenre of horror that intentionally showcases grotesque or psychological disturbing violations of the human body. These violations may manifest through a wide range of possibilities like aberrant sex, mutilations, Zombification, gratuitous violence, disease or unnatural movements of the body. Body horror was a description originally applied to an emerging subgenre of North American horror films, but has its roots in early Gothic literature and has expanded to include other media.
Inside her apartment, in the dead of the night, a lone young woman gets a glass of water from her kitchen cistern, and then wonders what could be in the glass or what’s the source of that water, and never realizes that something could be wrong. About to screen in various film festivals across the globe, anytime soon, this mind-boggling film is a reel of colorful cinematic images with a subtle message that leaves your jaw open.
Drawing inspirations from films like Alien, The Thing, The Fly, just to name a few, Riparian takes the horror genre a notch higher by making us wondering ‘what actually happened?’ and then asking for more, till the end of the film. Perhaps, we could have seen it coming all along but not this. What could this short horror film be telling us? You can watch the film via this link here https://youtu.be/UktbOLEaWMU. The film-maker can be reached at his website jaesh.com