They should quit whinging about their demons and do something about it.

Today’s horror short is terrifying.  The Last Time I Saw Richard, written and directed by Nicholas Verso, is about two teenage boys sharing a room in a psychiatric hospital.  Jonah, played by Toby Wallace, is a depressed, self-loathing cutter.  His roommate, Richard, played by Cody Fern, suffers from extreme insomnia.  The two become friends after they find that they are plagued by the same darkness.

Jonah and Cody’s psychological demons are shown visually, as literal demons.  Chilling scenes of the boys being tormented by creeping, shadowy creatures are presented multiple times throughout the 22-minute-long film.  The issues stemming from socially prescribed toxic masculinity and stigma attached to mental illness, namely the insecurities surrounding vulnerability and intimacy, are also explored in this short.

The Last Time I Saw Richard is poignant and visually striking.  It won Best Short Fiction Film in the 2014 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards and it is the prequel to Verso’s feature film Boys In The Trees, which is currently in production.

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