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Review: Michael Varrati’s He Drinks (A Couples Therapy Session to Die for)

Last year, Michael Varrati was back in the director’s chair with his six minute short film He Drinks. You may recognize Varrati as the screenwriter behind The Sins of Dracula, a handful of Lifetime Original Christmas movies, and for his queen horror podcasts and events. As one of the biggest voices and advocates for queer horror, it’s no surprise to me that He Drinks falls into that category, although the Revry Production also survives mostly in the comedy genre. In the film, a bickering couple – Chris and Bram – decide to visit a respected couples therapist before their marriage goes further off the rails. As the therapist digs deeper into their history, she’s shocked to discover that Chris and Bram’s problems are far more complicated than she thought. They’re down-right blasphemous! Written and directed by Michael Varrati, He Drinks stars Francisco Chacin, Clint Keller and scream queen Tiffany Shepis (Scarecrow, Sharknado 2, Victor Crowley).

He Drinks is so successful due to the combination of Michael’s writing and directed paired with the incredible performances from the actors. And having Tiffany Shepis co-lead is an instant draw. Honestly, I haven’t seen such amazing and fun on-screen chemistry and such hearty acting in a couple months. Had I had the chance to view He Drinks earlier last year, it definitely would have made an appearance in my “best of 2018” list for its performances alone. Michael Varrati has always had a knack for writing, and those skills were brought out so perfectly in this short film. He Drinks is also produced by Varrati and JT Seaton (The Peripheral), with JT also serving as cinematographer and editor. As a production, this short film has good special effects (from the little the viewer gets to see) and its audio was recorded and edited to stand out perfectly in a theater. It’s the camera work that I question. It’s crystal clear, but there’s such a big difference between the shots of Tiffany and the shots of Francisco and Clint that it almost seems inconsistent. Something about the shades of blue threw me off.

As far as the horror goes, He Drinks is certifiably a queer comedy piece, but the horror elements are there. It’s a six minute short film, but at the three minute mark I “got it” and knew something darker was on the way. From there, the suspense starts to kick in and builds to a bloody and funny finish. Obviously, this title isn’t going to appeal to every horror fan, especially if you’re not into story building and sarcasm over terror and guts. Still, if you appreciate the art of film-making and love the reddest genre in all its shapes, forms, and sizes, then you should give He Drinks a chance whenever it becomes available online. I want it adapted to a web-series. Now. Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)