Director: Daniel Delpurgatorio
Writer: Anthony Williams
Cast: David Steiger
Every now and then a movie comes across my path that recharges my love for the genre. It’s why I obsessively dig through bargain bins and scouring internet message boards hoping to find that new voice that will be the bench mark for the next wave of horror directors. Mostly these efforts pay off big ( or what in my sad life passes off as big). Names like Ti West, Alexandre Aja and Adam Wingard made all this work (well normally just sitting and staring at a screen…) worth it. Now you can add the name Daniel Delpurgatorio to the list.
Other centers around a scientist who has recently been diagnosed with (what I assume is) stage 4 lung cancer. Which in most cases is a death sentence. Instead of accepting his fate and calling a hospice our hero decides to do what he does best and dive head first into obsessively finding a cure no matter what the cost.
Normally I would not do a full review of a short film. Not that I have anything against short films. Hell, sometimes horror works best in quick burst, kind of like a snack size candy bar. Just enough to satisfy that sweet tooth but not so much that you get sick from it. Delpurgatorio’s “Other” might only be a short but nothing about it is snack sized. Well maybe if the made a snack sized power bar. Other has more substance than most of the featured length films I’ve seen all year. In under fifteen minutes he sucked me into the world he created and he had me by the short hairs! The impeding sense of doom resonates from the beginning and grows thicker with each passing second. I was never sure where “Other”was heading and even when the gory madness began I was still unsure what sick and twisted path Delpurgatorio had planned. That’s very rare in the genre lately and keeping me on the edge of my seat is not an easy task.
Our protagonist ( David Steiger, who knocks it out of the park) is clearly a brilliant mind with nothing else to lose. Which can be a dangerous combination. His search for a cure goes from necessity to obsession fairly quick ( it is only a 15 minute short), but never feels rushed. Delpurgatorio is able to fully fill out his protagonist with minimum effort and it’s easy to except that this is a man who is willing to do whatever it takes to find a cure. The real horror begins when the cure is at hand and our main character is unable to pump the brakes.
When things take a turn for Cronenbergtown and the doctor starts to fall apart we get to relish in some pretty damn impressive SFX. It harks back to a day when Carpenter reigned supreme ( not really sure that was real, but in this nerds heart it is!) and films makers not only wanted to gross us out, but also filmed body horror as more of character. Not just a gimmick to get people to watch (Yeah, I’m looking at you Eli Roth!).
“Other” is raw and brutal look at obsession and how far a man is willing to push himself. It’s beautifully shot with seamless editing and is a very impressive short film. Does that mean that Delpurgatorio has set a new bench mark in the field? No, but it definitely proves that he is one director to keep an eye out for. We’ll probably be seeing a lot of him.
To find out when you can catch a screening of “Other” or to check out the trailer visit the official site HERE.