Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Writer/Director, Goran Spoljaric for allowing me access to an online screener of his 13 minute, Horror/Thriller short “Secretions”. Secretions centers around a mutant woman (played by Zia Electric) whose being held captive in a basement by a man (David Macrae) looking to profiteer from her rare genes. The mysterious woman sees an opportunity to escape during a client’s visit to the house. The film also stars Chris Savva and Mark Robert Walters.
Secretions is Melbourne based film maker, Goran Spoljaric’s fourth short film, and an interesting slice of body horror/torture porn at that. The script is very much contained, but feels heavily influenced by something like Trent Haaga’s “Dead Girl” meets Eli Roth’s horror hit, “Hostel”. Adam Lynch’s cinematography and framing are impressive. Here’s a guy whose just recently started racking up credits left right and centre, but he’s doing it well. My favorite shots in the film are a couple of macro ones at the beginning that highlight the signs of wear and tear on the womans body. The audio levels are clear and the foley is crisp too. Paul Dawkins (who composed a great score on the Aussie film “The Tunnel”) utilizes lots of deep bass tones in Secretions and while it’s not overly memorable, it fits the intended tone nicely. The all too brief practical effects work is probably the finest aspect of the film.
I think the performances were all solid but I didn’t personally like the style in which Macrae chose to deliver his lines, something was amiss for mine. I thought it was odd that towards the end the woman alternates between walking and crawling. Given her plight, I would’ve thought the latter was all she’d be able to muster up. As I touched on earlier, I think the action comes and goes all too soon and I would’ve liked to have seen it play out slightly differently. Secretions may be in need of further development (so here’s hoping there’s a feature in the works at some point), I couldn’t make heads or tails of the pink fluid. Was it blood? Did it give users a high? I pictured the woman as more of a meth addict than I did a mutant, and that perhaps her body had been able to generate something more potent that people wanted to bottle. Some more details about who she was and where she’d been wouldn’t have gone astray.
Secretions is a different kind of entry to the body horror sub-genre and it makes for some intriguing viewing. The camera work is of a high standard, the audio is clean and practical effects are on display in one cringe inducing sequence. The performances are all decent, I just didn’t love Macrae’s intonation (personal preference). There’s a continuity blunder with the woman and I’d have liked to learn a bit more about her and the details of the situation. There’s definitely more here to explore but as it stands, Secretions is still an impressive short film from some homegrown talent. Check out a brief clip of the film below.
My rating for “Secretions” is 7/10