Vortex Film Festival Comes to Westerly

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Vortex Film Festival Comes to Westerly

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On October 24 a group of students were invited to view the Vortex Film Festival, brought by Westerly Alumnus, Shawn Quirk.

According to Quirk the film festival is “a showcase and display of talent of upcoming film makers. The Vortex Film Festival is more a sidebar while the main festival consists over 6,000 films from over 65 countries. We pick and choose about 200 films to be displayed. In order to be eligible for an Oscar, a film has to be picked by us, so we are like the first step.”

The genre for this year’s vortex was horror/sci-fi. Each film is pretty short, some being over 10 minutes long while others are less than a minute.

The first film to be featured was called The Whistler. This short is the stereotypical “parent has to go out and teenager has to babysit her little sibling” type of film. The little sibling asks to be read a bedtime story and she chooses “The Whistler.” However, after only reading a few pages, she puts down the book and decides to tell her sister the actual legend of the “whistler.” In this story a man kidnaps little virgins while leading them with his whistle as he goes deep into the woods.

The teenager finds herself awake after passing out, unable to find her sister in the middle of the night, so she runs out into the woods. She spots her sister, following a man and in the next scene the little girl wakes up but the teenagers body is found dead in the river. This film has a lot of potential, and I would love to see it become a feature film.  It just needs more of a story.

The next film to be shown is known as The Hunting Season. This short film took place at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, where only a young female adult works the overnight shift. On the radio she hears calls of a bear on the loose who is attacking people and killing them. A reward is set out by the police. As such, one at a time trucks come to the gas station to be refilled and as they’re tanks are being filled they talk about how they’re going to hunt the bear.

After only a short time passes, the bounty is increased significantly and the “bear” is identified as more of a “wild beast.”

When the girl decides to smoke a cigarette outside, the power of the gas station turns off. She begins hearing loud noises and desperately tries to get the power back on, gun in hand. Out of the fog this “wild beast” emerges but has no intent to attack the girl. Instead, it’s a unicorn like figure that walks slowly towards her.  Se can see where it was shot and the blood dripping down from its horn and sides. She takes out the arrow from the beast and tells it to run off right as the police show up and the film ends.

The third film to be shown was known as Lullaby. The basic premise of this movie is a mother comes home from work looking for her daughter or possibly mother — it’s unclear.  The film makes it pretty confusing. However when looking for this person she is unable to locate her and the power goes out. She hears a lullaby behind a room with power. She slowly approaches the door and as she opens it the lights go out and she’s taken.

The fourth film to be featured was called Control. This film related more to the sci-fi genre of things while still being scary. While in a futuristic style two person mission, one of the crew members dies. Due to the small living quarters she takes the body outside after confirming his death as to not have the body stink up the place, and she thought it would be a better place to leave it as the outside environment would keep it frozen and intact.

She reports back what happened to the people on Earth, which she calls “Control.”.One morning, however, she hears pounding on the door and starts a message to send to Control. Control tells her to open the door, which would kill her.  Control tries to scare her into believing that it’s her partner. She essentially is going crazy up on the moon and receives different messages from Control that all ask her to act differently. The film ends with her screaming out of agony.

The fifth film to be featured is called Bite Size Horror.  Rather than being one film, it was more of a collection or around ten. To describe a few briefly, one was like a prank video of a kid scaring his grandma who then acts dead and scares him. Another one was a very comical monster attacking a mother after she posted a picture of her kid on Instagram.

After watching the films , junior Joshua Restelli said, “It was good and each of the films were unique.”

Junior Santino Vernieri also said, “It was very good and I was very scared.  The films were very creative.  My favorite was The Whistler.

I personally enjoyed each of the films; my favorite also being The Whistler. Some of the films I’d really like to see become full on movies. It was very interesting how some of the films included comedy as usually a horror movie isn’t very comical. The contrasts of comedy and horror in some of the films really made them special.

Hopefully the festival comes back each year to display more short films!

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