Boston writer/director Izzy Lee has been rather prolific of late; not only did she have the short A Favor shown at London’s FrightFest this year, she has contributed to the upcoming anthology film Grindsploitation. Innsmouth, her latest short, keeps her trajectory going in the right direction.
We open a forensic examiner (Lee herself) inspecting the body of a young woman, found dead in an apartment with a large bite wound to her neck. Detective Olmstead (Porter) finds a photograph at the scene of the deceased with another woman, with the location written on the back: Innsmouth. Convincing her superior that it’s an important lead, she heads out to the small town to see if she can find out more. Upon arrival, she immediately is put in danger when she confronted by a strange group of women, led by the charismatic Alice Marsh (Risk).
Inspired by the H. P. Lovecraft story The Shadow over Innsmouth, Ms Lee’s short manages to capture the atmosphere of the horror master’s prose perfectly. After the comedic A Favor, Izzy has delivered a full-blooded horror, arguably her most gruesome and certainly the most explicit of her work so far. Aided by a score by Timothy Fife that evokes the past, and a sound design that underpins the creepy scenario, the film manages to convince in a mere ten minutes.
Already established as a modern horror icon, Tristan Risk is simply brilliant as the matriarch of the town’s sinister and horrific community. A fearless actor, she dominates her scenes, but not at the expense of the rest of the cast. With a brooding sensuality, she is at once enthralling and terrifying, as well as completely captivating.
Innsmouth has a building tension, which blossoms with an astonishingly erotically-charged edge, but it’s a shame that it wasn’t longer, as the mythology of the original novella could have been explored even further. However, within the short running time, we get a glimpse and taste some of the rich history of Lovecraft’s story. If it plays at a festival near you, seek it out!
CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: IZZY LEE / SCREENPLAY: IZZY LEE, FRANCESCO MASSACCESI / STARRING: TRISTAN RISK, DIANA PORTER, IZZY LEE / RELEASE DATE: TBC