Pretty Pickle (Short)

Pretty Pickle is the latest short film by indie filmmaker Jim Vendiola. This 12-minute short film drops us into a relationship still in the “honeymoon phase”. It’s relatively new, the couple spend much of their time being intimate, and everything seems to be going great. That is until the girlfriend starts doing things that both annoy the boyfriend and raise some questions.

What I love about the plot is that it feels like such a normal, everyday relationship until the boyfriend uncovers his girlfriend’s secret. Not only does this moment inject a healthy dose of shock and horror into the short film, but it also ends up being humorous. The situation is so surprising and disturbing that it makes things, for lack of a better term, awkward. This awkwardness is sure to make audiences laugh, even if it’s uncomfortable laughter.

The plot of Pretty Pickle is definitely a memorable one, but there are other aspects of the short film that make it quite enjoyable. This is one of many horror films I’ve seen so far in 2022 that chose to film entirely in black and white. The lack of color allows for horrifying imagery to seem slightly less disturbing for audiences.

The title of the short is also a fun little wink to the audience. It has multiple meanings such as actual pickles people eat, a “pickle” of a situation, and more. The performances help to add both humor and horror to Pretty Pickle. Brennan Urbi makes his acting debut in this short as the boyfriend, Samuel. While at times he can come across as a little stiff, he really shines in the climax of the short film. Whitney Masters (Easy, Beyond the Door) plays the girlfriend, Samantha. Masters does a great job of seeming like your everyday, average woman, but there is a slight edge to her that gives her an ominous presence.

Pretty Pickle is a dating nightmare dripping with comedic juices. Its disarming plot makes the climax all the more disturbing. Vendiola clearly has a knack for storytelling and is able to deliver a short film that is sure to get very different reactions from different audience members. If you have a dark sense of humor, Pretty Pickle is a short horror film you won’t want to miss.

OVERALL RATING: 3.5/5

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