Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Everstory Productions and both Writer, Benjamin Rider along with Director, Xavier Baeyens for allowing me early access to an online screener of their 7-minute Horror/Sci-Fi short, “Mutti”. Mutti is a German-made short about a soon to be groom (played by Nicolo Pasetti) who gets more than he bargains for when he’s lured back to a young woman’s (Raquel Villar) apartment to meet her new roommate, Mutti (played by Stefanie Wermeling).
I’ve known Xavier (at least in a networking and social media capacity) for a couple of years now, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had to see some of his work first-hand. Mutti has a 70’s like aesthetic appeal apparent from the outset, mostly in regards to its color grade and lighting. I’m a sucker for 70’s films and so I was immediately engaged, particularly enjoying the early conversation while green lens flares bleed from a background table mirror. Tim Strecker’s cinematography comes together well, the edit is clean, and Maciej Kulesza’s electrofusion score is perfect and calls to mind similar music from the likes of Cronenberg’s “Spider” or Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival”. Each of the performances is solid and the interactions natural, Wermeling and Pasetti especially good with their alien body movements. In hindsight, one could perhaps deduce that the opening shot is somewhat of a birthing of Mutti, an arrival if you will. Rider introduces a touch of social commentary via the preferential treatment of men with the framework of our current social hierarchy. The notion that all men get a certain way when they’re inebriated could be construed as rather mass-generalization, but I understood the long and short of those remarks. Issues are few and far between, though the voice-over work at the beginning wasn’t really necessary as it’s later repeated by Mutti once a not-so-subtle Jack enters the fold. I was also a little bemused as to why the woman didn’t react in the way that most people would have had they been placed in the same situation. Why didn’t she ask any questions or seek any answers?
Mutti is an extremely polished little short film with solid writing and great direction. The production value is consistently good and each of the technical aspects is well-conceived. I can see the film continuing to do well on the festival circuit throughout 2020. Aside from a couple of minor things, Mutti is hard to fault and will likely be a strong candidate for one of the best short films of the year. I can’t wait to see what Everstory does next, be sure to keep an eye out for this one soon!
Mutti – 8.5/10