FUSED (Short Film, 2019)

Directed by Patrick Rea
Written by Patrick Rea & Michelle Davidson
Starring Sarah McGuire, Katie Rohlfing, Jennifer Femiano

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE (Short Film, 2020)

Directed by Patrick Rea
Written by Patrick Rea
Starring Samuel P. Espinoza, Iliana Guibert, Sarah McGuire

Patrick Rea, the writer/director of feature films, NAILBITER and ARBOR DEMON, also has quite a large collection of short films under his belt—most of them horror. This year, Rea has unleashed two such shorts and I was able to get an early look at them. While fests are mostly shut down right now because of the pandemic, once things do reopen, be sure to follow Patrick @patrickreafilmmaker on FB to find out when these short horrors come to a town near you.

FUSED is an evenly-paced body-horror thriller that is less about blood and guts, and more about literally having your body torn apart from the inside. Star Sarah McGuire plays Sarah, a woman with a secret that is having a great effect on those around her, including her partner Cassie, played by Katie Rohlfing. I don’t want to reveal the entire concept, but it’s a good one. Structured as a sort of mystery, not as to whodunnit, but why did she do it, FUSED relies on dialog and a direct story for its strength. Decently acted and patiently unfolded in just over 15 minutes, FUSED was able to pull me into its story in little time about a relationship being torn apart from a division within one’s mind.

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE is set in a world overrun with an outbreak. But this isn’t a biological virus. It’s a religious one, as demon possession seems to be on the rise all over the world. Samuel P. Espinoza plays an exorcist in training, attempting to impress his teacher with his skills fighting the unholy. But he has a lot to learn. The potential for a much bigger and more expansive film rest deep inside SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. I can see it being expanded upon to be a full scale, big budget film, if the backing was there. But Rea is able to boil the concept down to its basics with just a few quick scenes that clock in at just about 10 minutes. It’s impressive how much story, action, and character is dropped in this short amount of time. SPIRITUAL PRACTICE is a well done short tale that did what it was supposed to do—get me fiending for more of this winning concept.

FUSED recently played at the Nightmares Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio. Once the shutdown is over, both films will be back to touring fests, so seek them out!