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Review: Sergio Morcillo’s Gotas (“Drops”)

Well, this was an unexpected watch. What a sleeper hit and a vastly underrated short from Cine Comunidad de Madrid. I’m looking at you right now, horror community, because Gotas (Spanish for ‘Drops’) is criminally overlooked and part of that reason is from genre fans not supporting it. Gotas, for me, is one of the best short films to come out this year and it’s a travesty that it didn’t conquer more film festivals around the world. But, instead of me griping about its lack of support, let me move on to my review of this 15 minute short film from director Sergio Morcillo. Based on the screenplay by Santiago Taboada, Gotas follows a young performance arts major experiencing the loss of her parents. Seemingly depressed by their early death, the woman finds herself stricken with strange stomach pains and a very overbearing boyfriend. Despite her intuition, she spends the night alone in her house and is tormented by an evil entity from her wildest nightmares. Produced by Sergio Morcillo and Darko Decimavilla, Gotas stars Marina Romero, Adrian Lopez, Patricia Arizmendi and Ismael de Las Heras. This short film was a wild beast, and I’m so happy I had the chance to watch it online.

Gotas is so much more than a horror film condensed into 15 minutes. It’s metaphoric, thematic and a complete cinematic experience. Every change, every color, every thought is a subtle representation of a deeper meaning. Sergio Morcillo quickly establishes himself as one of the best horror directors coming out of Spain, and he was helped in this particular journey by cinematographer Darko Decimavilla and editor Hugo Gonzalez Molero. The camera work is absolutely exquisite, and the light fades and red filters convey the extent of the central characters emotions while also serving as a signal that the demon is near. Crisp camera work and an artistic approach to lighting, gotta’ love it in an independent production. I also fell in love with the great backing scores, which helped Gotas to soar to even greater heights as added emotional punches. Finally, going back to the quality of Santiago Taboada’s script, Gotas is a masterpiece in story-telling, accurately depicting depression and abuse without actually showing it. This, of course, makes way for the demon to attack; as we all know evil spirits pray on the weak or weak minded. Sorry, Marina Romero, although I did love you as the star!

The demon in Gotas is almost certainly a representation of something else. However, that doesn’t make it any less effective. Twice – and I mean, TWICE – during my viewing, I jumped due to the sheer intensity and ferocity of the creature. It’s calculated, creepy and downright frightening. Incredible creature design and follow-through here; resulting in a villain that was actually very scary. Even before he shows up, it’s clear that something is going on, but you don’t know what. Something spooky is going down, but you’re just waiting for it to explode. When it comes time for the climax of Gotas, well, you’re going to be left speechless, uncomfortable and a terrified. I was worried that the level of horror would be lost in translation, since the viewer has to read subtitles, but nope…Gotas is effortlessly scary and suspenseful as fuck. For a picture that’s low on gore and without any nudity, I think it’s going to keep a lot of folks entertained. Again, it’s one of the best short films that I’ve seen in the last year. I highly recommend checking it out when it ‘drops’ online.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)