I’m so happy that film-makers are giving cursed monkey paws a little love in 2020. Monkey Paws are severely underutilized horror tools, and I only own one title that deals with the clawed, hairy anatomy. Formidable File Films’ We Got A Monkey’s Paw has revitalized the item with a mix of horror and comedy, and several nods to some of the greatest scary movies both past and present. Written by Zackary Ogle and Aaron Pagniano, the eight minute short follows best friends who share an apartment and Zack’s desire to entertain Jakki with a variety of haunted items. When they settle on playing with a monkey’s paw, their time together quickly spirals out of control and into the realm of mombies, time travel and other strange happenings. From director Aaron Pagniano and now streaming on Alter outlets, We Got A Monkey’s Paw stars Jakki Jandrell, Zackary Ogle, Christy St. John, Sarah Rebottaro, Lexa Payne and Kathleen Young in a film that has won multiple awards across the globe; especially in the category of writing.
We Got A Monkey’s Paw looks like a project from high quality content creators on YouTube. This isn’t a criticism by any means, especially when considering those folks make millions of dollars. What I mean by this is, the film-makers behind this short film are capable of creating something modern and eye catching, and the actors playing the roles are capable of pulling off comedic timing like seasoned veterans. We Got A Monkey’s Paw finds cinematography by Carissa Dorson, editing by Zackary Ogle and was produced by Travis Campbell. I enjoyed the work this team produced while working together and sincerely hope they work on a bigger project together in the future. The pace builds at a perfect level, the lighting is on point at every opportunity and even the special effects have proper care for a minimal project such as this. We Got A Monkey’s Paw is a shining example that real talent overrides star talent and magic can be created when those who love movies come together.
I found this short to be so relate-able because Zack is me and Jakki is my former best friend (bitch…). We were always collecting “haunted” items and visiting “haunted” places when we were younger, always looking for that thrill that only the macabre can bring. I mean, doesn’t everyone want to steal a Ouija board from a witch? I think that underlining story-line is going to appeal to a lot of people, too. Now, it’s important to note that We Got A Monkey’s Paw is a horror-comedy; something that’s incredibly difficult to pull off with accuracy. I have to say that leaning more-so in the direction of comedy really helped this flick to come off super cohesive and like a film that’s actually funny in a scary environment; and not like a film that’s taking itself way too seriously in either genre. It’s also a love letter to the horror genre, and I felt like I was playing a drinking game where I had to drink whenever I saw an homage to a hit horror flick.
Unapologetically ironic, scary in all the right places, and fantastically produced, We Got A Monkey’s Paw appeals to the naive child in all of us before flipping into an utter disaster. Find it wherever Alter is streaming, or peep it on YouTube below. Final Score: 9 out of 10.