From the dramedy to the rom-com, everyone loves a good genre mash-up. But Weston Currie has taken the fusing of seemingly incongruent elements to a whole new level in his controversial film Strange Company. The 13min, erm…horno (horror+porno?) blends twisted clichés to create the kind of short you can’t look away from, no matter how hard you try. Currie takes you on a perverse ride, where repulsion and desire crash together, resulting in a sticky, shameful mess you will not be able to forget any time soon.
“I wanted to make a different kind of horror film, one in which sex is substituted for violence”
She is a flustered realtor getting a house ready for viewings. He is a landscape artist trimming the trees in the sizzling heat. There is a mystical presence with supernatural powers, lurking unseen. What happens next? You will have to find out for yourself, but it’s fair to say that things get pretty weird. Strange Company is part comedy, part horror-porn parody with Lynchian vibes and a trippy soundtrack. Oh, and it’s definitely NSFW.
“I wanted to make a different kind of horror film, one in which sex is substituted for violence. I had the idea to make a possession movie where the demonic transformation is informed by lust and play rather than death and gore” – Currie explains.
This twist on the horror genre may be rather odd but it certainly makes for an entertaining watch. After all, the relationship between horror films and sex is almost as clichéd as porn films and bad acting; the two are inherently genetically related. Think how vampire victims look as the blood-thirsty fangs sink deep into their throbbing necks—more orgasmic than pained right?
But beyond an entertaining short, what really works here is the clever way Currie turns the genre clichés into something refreshingly new and unexpected. Instead of the temperature dropping, a sure sign that there is a monovalent presence in the house, here it’s rising, signalling that things are about to get pretty steamy.
We also have the classic porn characters; a busty blond, a handyman, and a tanned, muscly gardener stuck together in the sweltering heat, although in this version they may not exactly look how one might expect them to. Currie’s makeover of the old and well-trodden tropes is obscene, yet undeniably captivating in its grotesqueness.
Adding to this mesmerising effect is the sheer beauty of the cinematography. Our very own Jason Sondhi was struck by “how boring, visually, so many live-action shorts we see are”, in comparison to Strange Company. By opting for a warm, washed-out grade and tight close-up shots, Currie has achieved a striking aesthetic, which feels both intimate and stifling at the same time.
Weston Currie has written a feature film which is a continuation of Strange Company. Judging by the short, it will undoubtedly be an impressive and wonderfully weird production, and I for one can’t wait to see it!