Morbidly Beautiful

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With seven minutes of gore, squirm-in-your-seat horror and a scene that screams “Evil Dead”, “Ride Baby Ride” really packs a punch. 

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What if the very thing you had always dreamed of owning turned into your very own nightmare?

That is the case for our protagonist (Celina Bernstein), a young mechanic just trying to find her way in a man’s world. Once some pretty scummy guys come to her to negotiate the sale of a car, her life is never the same again.

Fighting for her life against a demonic Camaro, her dream car soon becomes the manifestation of her worst nightmares.

With a runtime of only seven minutes, this short, written and directed by Sofie Somoroff, really makes an impact. Somoroff, who has experienced great success on the festival circuit with her other award-winning shorts, embraces both body horror and the bizarre.

I’m someone who is fascinated with all things body horror, and I loved seeing a fresh female perspective on this subgenre of horror.

As the short is almost entirely a single-hander, Celina Bernstein, a regular in Somoroff’s shorts, has a strong screen presence. She’s able to grip the viewers and keep you rooting for her, even after only knowing her for a brief time.

The cinematography from (Gemma Doll-Grossman) is on point — at times even a bit grungy and seedy, which perfectly reflects the tone of the film.

I have a soft spot for vintage horror, and watching a short with a 1978 Camara as the primary supernatural villain is both fun and aesthetically pleasing.

The only critique I have would be the desire for a bit more dialogue in the film, though I can definitely see what the director was going for with the minimalist approach.

Much of our protagonist’s backstory and how she got here is explained in just photos on the wall. With that said, perhaps it was just my yearning for this to be a longer film. Once the action kicked in, I didn’t want it to stop.

Ride Baby Ride was an enjoyable watch, even though I’m someone who usually shies away from the rape-revenge genre.

Ride Baby Ride

If you’re like me, don’t worry. That aspect of the film is played with respect and subtlety. There are disturbing sexual undertones, but they are not overt, graphic, or gratuitous. Instead, Somoroff is very effective at making you feel uncomfortable by putting yourself in the protagonist’s shoes and making you understand how she must feel being surrounded by men who clearly have nothing but the worst intentions toward her.

When the demon eventually makes itself known, you really start squirming in your seat. The outstanding MUFX and makeup by (Emma Croft) shine, even without us seeing the full scale of the car demon.

It leaves a lasting impression without having to be in-your-face horror.

I’m hoping Somoroff continues to write and direct more shorts with the unique insight and vision she has. I’d even love to see her stretch into a feature film, as a lot of her ideas — such as those in Ride Baby Ride — could really be developed into a longer runtime. I’d have eagerly watched much more of this particular story as I was deeply invested.

Ride Baby Ride is well worth your time, with a great cast, strong visuals, and plenty of horror — as well as boasting a cast and crew mainly consisting of women, which is always great to see. 

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 4.5

The short just dropped on Alter, and you can watch it right here. I also encourage you to check out more of Somoroff’s great work right here on her Vimeo channel

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