In only sixteen minutes, ‘Skintight’ director, Ciara Boniface elicits a feeling of enthralling discomfort like no other in her latest short film. This thriller follows Robyn (played by Morgan Calhoun), a young black woman who has recently moved to a small Texas town. Since she arrived, she has received multiple cryptic letters from an unknown source. She confides in her friends and notices that many of the townspeople are acting increasingly stranger. She begins seeking answers about what is going on in this town.
Through Boniface’s simple and intentional storytelling, the audience is constantly juggling between a state of apprehension and one of relief. The plot is easy to follow - the well defined characters and realistic dialogue make the setting relatable. Viewers can truly feel Robyn’s increasing skepticism as she uncovers more clues to her mystery.
Fans of horror movies and thrillers have been asking for a shake up in the genre for many years. Haunted houses and “jump-scares” don’t seem to please audiences anymore. They want more creativity in the delivery of horror films - more character development and deeper themes. Films like ‘The Gallows’ and ‘Annabelle’ were not critically well-received. On the other hand, films like Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ and John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’ captivated audiences because they gave a unique take on traditional horror/thriller films. ‘Get Out’ had multiple thematic layers addressing interactions between black and white communities. ‘A Quiet Place’ relied on minimal dialogue and sound throughout the film and gave audiences a completely new sensory experience.
In this film, Boniface is able to employ the same creative approach by addressing themes like racial tension and the struggle of a newcomer. She is also able to maintain an backdrop that could fit in any suburban town, making the scary elements of the story seem much closer to home.
Boniface is taking a refreshing approach to the horror genre with this short film, and she hopes to take it one step further by turning it into a full-length feature. This is an ambitious project that deserves a worldwide audience that I will happily be a part of.
Readers can watch 'Skintight' at: https://vimeo.com/273781627