After impressing us last year with the chilling short film De-Mente, Lorenzo Ayuso passes the directorial torch to Azahara Gomez (De-Mente‘s visual effects maestro) and takes a co-writing credit on Extatico, a slickly produced and profoundly unsettling short that continues to strengthen both of their reputations.
Shot in a single take entirely from the perspective of a body two men (David Blanka and Sergio Sanchez Shaw) find in the woods, Extatico feels disquieting from the off. Its snow-drizzled, tranquil aesthetic sets a peaceful tone that turns sinister almost immediately when it becomes apparent exactly what it is that the two men have discovered. As they argue over how to proceed, something strange seems to overtake them, and what follows is unexpected and shattering.
At a lean 9 minutes, Extatico succeeds on the levels most good shorts should: strong performances and steady directorial hands guide us through a piece of work that gets under the skin more by implication than by blunt force. With all of its atrocities occurring either off camera or in your mind after the credits roll, this is bold, accomplished stuff.