I have a real love of Weird Horror fiction - the sort of stories with bizarre and surrealist imagery. Valentin Petit’s new short film, Anthophobia, hits all of the right buttons, and it’s impossible to look away from.
The film starts off with a description: anthophobia is a morbid dislike or even fear of flowers. The resulting film isn’t so much a cohesive story as it is a collection of imagery that really evokes a level of dread. Petit’s direction behind the camera is stunning - his steady camera work and overhead drone shots set the creepy scene as a horrifying voiceover narrates. Everything about this short film is beautiful: the color, cinematography and camera angles.
Weird Horror is in a sort of new ascendancy lately, with novels like Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation or television shows such as True Detective drawing on some of the older literary tropes from the likes of H.P. Lovecraft and Thomas Ligotti.
I’d love to see something longer come out of this: the camera work perfectly sets up the right sort of mood, and Petit has an eye for the unsettling here.