One of horrors brightest young prospects, especially in the short format, is French director, David Teixeira and this is his latest release, Ouroboros.
Mr Teixeira first came to our attention through the wonderful short, Girls Night and the equally exciting sequel, Girls Night 2. Read our reviews of those by following the links. You can also watch Girls Night on YouTube here and Girls Night 2 here. David Teixeira was born in France though spent most of his life living in Portugal. He wrote, produced and directed a handful of low budget movies such as Sweet Madness and Habitat before returning home to his country of birth. From his new home in Bordeaux, he created Girls Night and really became known as a force.
Girls Night has been hugely successful winning, and doing well, at multiple film festivals in the horror short category. Being fans ourselves, we are very excited to get to take a look at his latest effort, Ouroboros. A quick check online tells me that an Ouroboros is ancient circular symbol. It depicts a dragon or serpent eating it’s own tail. It is a symbol that was adopted and used heavily in alchemy.
Ouroboros, the movie, comes from an idea formed by both David Teixeira and Lea N’Kaoua, It is written, directed and produced by David and stars Lea. We start off in a an outside scene with dreamlike music, sort of like a kids toy, playing while the female character walks hazily around. She has cut her finger and finds some steps. Around this time we start seeing a ghastly, blackened mouth appearing as flashes over the top. The lady wakes from what was a very distressing dream. She walks through her home, stopping to read a note left with some lifeless weeds/flowers where she pricks her finger on a thorn. The note was left to arrange a meet so our character gets ready and heads out.
She heads to the meeting place, which looks identical to the location of her dreams. A castle, steps leading to it and an open space surrounded by thorny bushes where she again pricks her finger. A recurring theme, so far. I must admit to finding myself wondering if we are heading down a dark version of a classic fairy tale like Sleeping Beauty at this point. We have a castle surrounded by thorny bushes and a character who woke from sleep and appears to have a habit of pricking her finger. She heads into the castle where she finds a box containing more of the weeds/flowers, a pendant and some photographs that upset her greatly.
She heads further into the abandoned castle, dirty and littered with graffiti. Suddenly she is accosted by a crazed woman/creature/monster. It growls at her, moving in a flicking, almost Silent Hill’s nurses like, style. We also recognise her blackened mouth. It is the same as the one from the dream we saw at the beginning. Our lady runs for it but in her panic, seems to get herself turned around and can’t find her way out. This leads into a game of cat and mouse as our character finds herself trapped as the monstrous woman appears to taunt her with contorting body shapes and laughs while screaming “Ouroboros”. The short film ends with the most wonderful link back to the title of the film which had me applauding with approval.
Ouroboros again puts David Teixeira forward as an exciting talent. It also contains a very strong acting performance by Lea N’Kaoua who portrays the main character and the demonic one. It is a clever little short with a decent amount of suspense built in it’s short runtime. The real strength for me though comes in the use of the background music. Is there any sound more horrific in horror than a children’s toy? I doubt it. It really put me on edge and the sudden switches in it, or reappearance of it, after a quiet moment offers more scares than anything seen visually.
I liked Ouroboros a lot though it isn’t without it’s faults. While I commend the talent of Lea in contorting her body into all manner of positions, I have to admit it sometimes comes across quite comical. As she never actually touches the lead character, it was easy to dismiss the creature as nonthreatening. This makes her, and the movie, a lot less scary than it could have been. Until it’s hopeless ending anyway. It seems she is trapped, not necessarily in any physical danger. I would have loved to know a bit more about what was going on to. Who was the note from? What was in the photographs? That isn’t elaborated on though. With limited runtime, some things need to be left to your own interpretation.
To close, Ouroboros is a clever film with a highly intelligent ending. The camerawork is excellent. The use of music to amplify suspense and danger is immense. It is up there with the best audio work I have heard in any film. I would highly recommend this short, as I would any of David Teixeira’s work. Another great job and I can’t wait to see more from him.
Horror Short Review - Ouroboros (2018)
The Final Score - 8/10