The Black and White Body Horror of 'Revenge Story'

A ballerina seeks revenge on the chiropractor who she blames for ruining her career in this marvelous short film.

Revenge

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When I think of body horror, I tend to think of specific colors and textures: deep crimsons, fleshy pinks, and usually some horribly viscous fluids. But it turns out I underestimated the genre, for low and behold: here is a specimen that doesn’t need color, let alone the third dimension, to horrify.

Revenge Story is a short, animated film about a ballerina who visits a chiropractor, only to have her neck irreparably mangled. Blaming the doctor, the ballerina spirals into self-pity and becomes laser-focused on one thing and one thing only: revenge. As the film’s title suggests, Revenge Story is very much a prototypical tale of vengeance, a wordless distillation of the self-destructive, consumptive eye-for-an-eye mentality. As the ballerina stalks her would-be victim, her quest leaves her more and more disfigured. A horrifying combination of affecting animation and sound design make the whole ordeal supremely unnerving in the best possible way. The film is pure proof that you don’t need gallons of lube and foam latex to make your audience squirm.

You can watch Revenge Story here:

Who made this?

Revenge Story was written and directed by Erin Kim, an LA-based designer and animator at Jib Jab Studios who graduated from CalArts in 2016. You can find her videos on Vimeo here. Revenge Story was selected for a smattering of film festivals, including the 2020 Deep Focus Animation Festival and last year’s Festival du Film d’Animation de Savigny. The film’s music was created by Nick Keller, with score mixing and sound design by Jason LaRocca and Nick Ainsworth respectfully. Foley art and mixing were created by Andrea Gard and Frank Rinella.

More Videos Like This

  • More from director Erin Kim: a video she made at CalArts about a distressed onion who can’t make friends because of their odor
  • Another video from Kim, this one about a man living a secret life who faces a crisis when he finally finds his true soulmate
  • Fast Week is another abstract 2D animated short film that makes effective use of black-and-white
  • Late last month, Steve Cutts released a follow up to his misanthropic hit short film MAN that supposes that maybe humanity giving the earth a break isn’t such a bad thing.

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