REVIEW: “Maryla” A Horror Short Film


Director Guillaume Heulard and screenwriter Stéphane Valette, bring you a very ambitious French film production – short horror film “Maryla” starring Otilia Royer, Christine Lutete and Paul Bandey. The story is about two American friends Ashley (Cristine Lutete) and Cassie (Otilia Royer) who decide to take a trip to a haunted old mansion for a job in Poland, but what they find is far darker, chaotic and evil than they could have imagined. The longer they stay in the house, the more danger they unwittingly find themselves in, as more supernatural incidents keep occurring and more secrets start to unravel for Ashley and Cassie. With dire consequences, the film shows a tale of two women experiencing a traumatic supernatural event and its aftermath. The production value and cinematography are very high level which was a pleasant surprise for an indie film. It was shot crisply, viscerally and effectively. There are a lot of yellows, light browns, and dirty blonde colours used which is almost another character in the film. I would be curious to know why these colours were used as they help the aesthetic feel of this film come to life. The special effects were used to move the story forward and were of very high quality. I could tell that the cast and crew gave a united effort to produce this film. The editing revealed smoothly transitioned scenes, which can make or break any movie, from a blockbuster to an indie drama. “Maryla” has been selected at various festivals around the world such as Fright-B-Wry Festival in Portland, Oregon and Sandgrounder International Short Film Festival. It has been nominated and won several awards including the Prix du Public Award 2023 in Paris.

Below is the Official MARYLA synopsis:

Maryla is a 20-minute horror short film.

“During a trip to Poland, two young American photographers, Ashley and Cassie, are sent by their employer to photograph an old uninhabited mansion resembling a haunted house deep in the forest. Cassie is confronted by some very strange phenomena on her way to the manor…”

The creators behind the film, Guillaime and Stephane, discussed Maryla below on the website KissKissBankBank:

MARYLA, un film de Guillaume Heulard by Guillaume — KissKissBankBank

“Our primary goal is to make the audience shiver with fear and suspense. At the same time, the script can be seen from another angle. The ghost that persecutes the young woman can be seen as a metaphor for a woman’s fight against an old resurfacing trauma.

These two women of the same age and social environment, develop entirely different views based on their own personal experiences.”

Stéphane Valette, screenwriter

“A horror film is like a symphony, full of rhythm and notes that bring the whole ensemble together. You can be sure that our musicians are ready to give their all to bring Maryla to life.”

Guillaume Heulard, director

Follow them for more information on Facebook : (20+) Maryla – le film | Facebook

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