By Jordan Gerdes
By Jordan Gerdes DISCLAIMER: I was provided a copy of this film for review. I was under no obligations by any party to provide favorable reviews, promotion, or anything else. I was offered no monetary compensation for my work. Everything below is of my own accord.
Kurusu Serapio is a seven minute short horror film from director and writer Marcos Codas that everyone should be talking about. It is extremely rare that a short horror film can cover enough ground to feel complete, yet leave enough unanswered that fans want more. Kurusu Serapio does just this. Following Leila (Leila Benitez) and Alex (Alexis Amarilla) as they notice something is wrong with their friend Chris (Christian Cuadra) following a break up. The appearance of ritualistic symbols involved with Paje, the regional mysticism, and Chris’s eventual disappearance lead these two on a journey that brings them head to head with Paraguayan black magic.
Again, the pacing of this film is spot on. It covers a lot of ground in it’s seven minute runtime, while never feeling rushed. It’s little glimpses of moments in a much larger story, one that director Marcos Codas tells me that he is planning to explore in two more segments involving two new mediums of storytelling.
The cinematography is one of my favorite things about this feature. It is polished, but not enough that it looks staged. It goes between static shots of characters, and first-person point of view shots that scratch that found footage itch. If I had to compare this to a film, it would fit in with The Blair Witch Project(1999), as it has that guerrilla film crew feel to it, divulging only as much information as needed to keep the story moving, but not enough to dispel the myths perpetuated in this tale. It also reminds me a bit of Devil’s Due(2014), namely the found footage, black magic and occult aspects to it. The acting is great for this feature as well, particularly the character of Chris.
Codas clearly has a knack for the folklore behind the horror, embedding local attitudes about paje, his own experiences in Paraguay, and the greater overarching Paraguayan folklore of Kurusu Serapio into the backbone of his story. The last act of the tale is particularly well done and effective, with some really good scares to it as well.
Curated into Chunks of Horror(2018), “Kurusu Serapio” is the 7th episode of this anthology, available on a number of VOD services. Not sure about the others, but it is $.99 cents for this short on Amazon right now, and I highly recommend it. If you enjoy found footage, you will enjoy this. I could gush about this all day, but it needs to be experienced.