Morbidly Beautiful

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We talk with award-winning actor, writer, director, producer Rakefet Abergel about her killer short “Boo” and what’s next for the rising filmmaker.

While I appreciate the tremendous talent and skill involved in making a short film, I don’t typically enjoy them. But sometimes there’s one (or two) that’s just so well made, and so entertaining, that I end up loving it. That is the case with 2019’s Boo. Written and directed by, and starring, Rakefet Abergel, Boo is the exceptional follow-up to Abergel’s fantastic 2017 short, Jax in Love.

There’s some exciting news about Boo, a short story about a recovering addict harboring a very large and dark secret from her fiancé, so I caught up with Rakefet, and we discussed ALTER, women in horror, what’s up next for her, and of course, horror movies.

Morbidly Beautiful: Some very exciting things are happening with you and ALTER. Can you tell us a little about that?

Rakefet Abergel: My second short film, Boo, is premiering on ALTER starting today, October 19th, and I’m super excited about it. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about ALTER, and the exposure is going to be fantastic!

MB: How does it feel to not only have your films slay in their festival run, but also to now have Boo kicking off ALTER’s Halloween programming?

RA: I mean, it feels pretty good! A lot of hard work and money and literal blood, sweat, and tears went into this film, so I’m glad that it had a huge payoff for me and everyone involved in making it. It means a lot that ALTER would not only choose the film, but slate it for Halloween.

MB: Any words of advice for those just starting their journey?

RA: I would say don’t be afraid. It’s all overwhelming and no one ever really knows what they’re doing, so it’s okay if you don’t. We all figure it out together somehow. I’d say find someone you know who’s work you admire and ask to pick their brain about the process or any questions you have. Surround yourself with people who know more than you and maybe even who are smarter than you. You should never be the smartest person in the room. How else do you learn? Keep going. Success is not a straight shot. There are a lot of ups and downs. I’m still navigating both almost daily! Believe in yourself.

MB: How have roles for women in horror changed, and where do you see these roles going in the future?

RA: I feel like roles for women in horror have gotten so much richer. Even films that may not want to adjust how they portray women, can’t say that they don’t know better. It’s in the culture now.

Discussions have been had and are being had and will be had about how to create more nuanced female characters in horror. And with more and more female directors and producers and writers creating right now, we will inevitably be seeing more roles that portray women more realistically and with empathy and compassion.

MB: If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

RA: I would have loved to have worked with Kubrick or Hitchcock as an actor, if only just to say that I was in one of their films.

MB: I know that Covid has stalled a lot of projects, and even some have been cancelled. Are you currently working on anything or have anything else coming out?

RA: I’m doing a lot of writing these days. I wrote a short horror script called EDEN that is a finalist at Nightmares Film Festival and a semi-finalist at Vancouver Horror Show. I’m also working on my first feature, another horror, called NEW MOM. And I’m in the beginning stages of thinking about a feature length version of BOO. I’ve also acquired a fantastic short script by Jeremy Herbert and Wolf Stahl called the THE RELATIVE BUOYANCY OF ILL-GOTTEN GAINS, that I hope to direct and star in.

MB: What’s your favorite scary movie?

RA: I would say either The Sixth Sense or Scream. Both are still a little too scary for me!

Watch Boo now on Alter right here

ABOUT ALTER: The most provocative minds in horror bring you three new short films every week exploring the human condition through warped and uncanny perspectives. Be ready to leave the world you know behind and subscribe. Once you watch, you are forever ALTERed.

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