Perfect (2020) Short Film Review

In “Perfect”, Ashley Tyler delivers a chilling performance as a sociopathic femme fatale serial killer who seduces and dispatches dates in pursuit of the “Perfect Man”.  In addition to this striking, committed, and fearless acting turn, she also served as producer and contributed to the sinister story (with script by Anthony Guilianti).

Ashley

Director Jeremiah Kipp excels in every genre he tackles–guiding stylish, atmospheric, thought-provoking pieces that focus on character interaction and will have you thinking about them for quite a while after viewing.  These are the reasons why I’ve reviewed many of his works over the years and those hallmarks hold true here.

There are a number of interesting ideas that are raised in the film:

  • Literal objectification of a partner being taken to its most extreme, with the plucking of elements to create a whole that doesn’t add up to the sum of its “perfect” parts.
  • Frustration when what we project onto an idealized image on a screen isn’t realized how we envisioned when encountering them in “reality”/in person.
  • No matter how much we long for the realization of our ideal mate, with a laundry list of carefully pre-selected attributes or features, we can’t will them to “life.”

The film’s gaze is female and one through objectification of men, which runs counter to the traditionally male-dominated serial killer genre.  Tyler’s Audrey creates a cut-and-paste collage man on the sacred page and a literal one lying in state in her bedroom.

Convincing makeup FX and prosthetics work come courtesy of one of the most talented and promising indie FX artists and creature creators around, Beatrice Sniper–a frequent Kipp collaborator.

Makeup FX stil

Cinematography by Christopher Bye and editing by Kate Dillon result in both a sleek look and pace that propel the piece along and this short doesn’t shy away from the gory details.

A taut 10 minute thriller, there is room for expanding this short film into a larger piece–whether as a feature, or a larger segment in an anthology.  Character backstory remains mysterious and could either be explored and given motivation, or left unexplained in a feature version. “Perfect” isn’t an easy film–it may leave the viewer uneasy, but one worth delving into.

–Cory Graham    Published: 1/15/2020.

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