Director – Ariel Hansen (Ready to Burst, Paint the Town Red
Starring – Ariel Hansen, Catlin Franks (Fuck You World, Runts), and Lindsay Navarro (iZombie, Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas)
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 3.5/5
Sometimes a movie is more than just a movie. Some have a story to tell while others take on more important issues while focusing on a specific genre. Social media has always been a huge part of internet culture. Long before Myspace and Facebook there was online forums, email, and chat rooms. Popularity in these aspects has always had an appeal to some but once social platforms that were friend based became popular people started using their online social circles as validation of their success. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube were places that flourished due to this mentality.
Several horror films over the years has attempted to make a horror story centered around this mentality but very few were able to actually capture the shallow and naive characters that these platforms nurture while staying true to horror. A few days ago I was contacted by Bad Cookie Productions to review their newest horror short Clout. Thank you for sending this one over!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a social media influencer who often brandishes her fame to her peers while giving them unwanted advice. However, they soon pass her in followers on social media while her views take a downturn. To make matters worse, she just found out her boyfriend was invited to the opening of a new venue when she was not. She dresses up and decided to go but something strange has bit her on her neck. Before she arrives it has grown into a rather large bug and the party goers are in for a surprise. **Spoiler Alert**
Clout was a very surprising body horror film that I was not expecting. If I was going by title alone this would be one that I would skip but the film’s poster really pulled me in. The Goosebumps like artwork really tugged on my nostalgia strings and the short was really a fun watch.
The acting in this one is great. Director and star Ariel Hansen does an absolutely phenomenal job. Acting and directing are two equally difficult tasks but this talented young lady does a fantastic job. The supporting cast does a great job as well but the characters are not as well developed and in the spotlight like Hansen’s character.
The story for this one melts body horror with the world of social media influencers. It works on several levels. The biggest impact is how social media influencers rely on their looks to gain followers and likes. This is the perfect set up for a well crafted body horror film. The film, though it is a short, does take a little time to get rolling and the horror aspect is not in the film nearly as much as I would have liked. Does the short work…the short answer is yes but it could have been a little more than what it was.
Finally, this is not a bloody and gory mess that most of us love. Instead, its a very story and character driven short with some practical effects that look decent. Also, the film does make use of some visual effects that actually works. They don’t look cheap or dated. Overall, Clout is a well put together and acted short with a very solid story that speaks volumes about social media and some’s obsession with popularity. I highly recommend checking this out if you ever have the chance. It will not disappoint.