LADY IN THE SHOWER **** Canada 2018 Dir: Chris Borgo. 6 mins
Writer-director Chris Borgo (THE HAG: BLOODLINE, THE NANABIJOU TAPES) – who also produced, shot and edited – cannily plays on our (over) familiarity with modern horror tropes in this dialogue-free, confident mini-shocker. Laura Woodbeck is part of a trio of generically named characters, The Lady, a young woman with a secret whom we first see texting while preparing to shower in her hotel, Room 409. Borgo deploys a series of shot-specific nods and set ups in honour of the horror world’s most famous shower sequence (including an ominous presence at the shower curtain), alongside PSYCHO-inflected visuals recurrent in 1980s American horror – notably the shower water turning to blood. The story briskly unfurls the backstory of a vengeful hotel ghost, employing an array of electrical signifiers of paranormal activity familiar from other modern cinematic ghost stories and generating some shivers along the way. Woodbeck has fun in the archetypal, post-Janet Leigh lead and the technical credits are excellent.
Review by Steven West