|Directed by||Marc Cartwright|
|Written by||Baker Chase Powell|
|Music by||Marc Jovani|
Glass Cabin Films
|October 1, 2018|
Vexed is a US horror-comedy short film directed by Marc Cartwright and written by Baker Chase Powell. The film stars Nosheen Phoenix and Baker Chase Powell, and centers around a couple having a romantic date night which goes horribly wrong when they decide to question the validity of classic horror film plots.
Nick and Leah are enjoying a quiet night at home watching a horror movie. When the movie ends, Nick scoffs at the name of the movie, Blood Summer 4: Beach Vacation Massacre. Horror-buff Leah takes offense and is shocked to learn that Nick is not a horror fan. He thinks all horror movies are predictable, cliche, and terribly un-frightening.
Leah takes a dig at Nick for only liking Judd Apatow movies and leaves the room. As Nick walks into the bedroom and changes his shirt, he turns to see Leah sitting, faced away from him on the bed. He kisses her on the back of the head and tells her he's sorry for making fun of her movies, but that in order for him to like them, he really needs to be scared. As Leah is obscured from view behind Nick, Leah suddenly appears in the doorway, questioning Nick who he is talking to. Nick turns and sees that Leah was never behind him and the bed is perfectly made. Leah laughs and jumps into bed as Nick ponders what he just saw.
In the middle of the night, Nick wakes to a strange sound coming from the living room. He wakes Leah and they both hear it. A timid Nick makes his way down the hallway towards the dark living room, Leah watching in fear from their bedroom doorway. Suddenly, two masked strangers appear out of nowhere, startling Nick, and walking towards them. Nick races back and they lock the door. As Nick and Leah freak out about what to do, Nick instructs Leah to call 911 on his phone. Just as Leah questions him about why he changed his password, one of the masked strangers appears in the closet behind her and sweeps her away into the darkness slamming the door. Nick bangs on the door, calling out her name until he gets in, and when he does, she is nowhere to be found.
Nick quickly runs to the bedside table and grabs Leah's phone to call for help. Just as he does, he hears a strange static signal on the other end of the phone. A black gooey liquid emerges from underneath the bed, surrounding him, and a demonic claw reaches out from the bed and grabs his face yanking him backwards.
Nick screams in terror just as he wakes up in front of the TV. Leah by his side, stops the movie and tries to calm him. It is exactly where they were earlier in the night. Leah tells him he must have a had a nightmare. Nick comes to terms with this just as Leah tells him that maybe next time he shouldn't fall asleep during a horror movie. Leah leaves the room as Nick sits and stares at the DVD cover of the movie that they just watched. He laughs it off and goes to the bedroom just as the black gooey substance emerges from beneath the couch out of his sight.
Nick pulls the covers over him and goes to bed as Leah goes to the kitchen to make some more popcorn, turning on some music. A dark shadow crosses through the room and shuts the door. Nick calls out for Leah, but she does not hear him. Nick tries the lights to no avail and then pulls out his phone and turns on the flashlight. He scans the room and catches a glimpse of one of the masked strangers from his nightmare. Nick shrieks and ducks under the covers in fear. Leah hears this and turns off the music, calling out to him. Nick slowly peers through the covers with his phone light and sees nothing. He drops the covers and suddenly a large demonic monster appears in the corner of the room and attacks him.
Leah opens the bedroom door, and the room is now empty. Nick has seemingly crossed over to a different reality set in the same bedroom as he fights off the monster under the covers. As Leah stands perplexed in the empty bedroom, she hears the TV turn on in the other room. Nick escapes from the covers to see that the monster is no longer there. As he makes his way across the bed, his elbow bumps into something with a thud. He turns to look and is horrified at what he sees just as Leah sits in front of the TV sharing the exact same reaction. Nick is somehow stuck in the TV as if in a movie playing out on the screen. Leah and Nick both shout in confusion as the demonic monster rises from behind Nick and snaps his neck. Leah cries out as the image fades to black and a title splashes across the screen, Blood Summer 5: Midnight Massacre. Leah sits in shock, trying to catch her breath and piece together what just happened, when suddenly she calms and a wry smile spreads across her face. She reaches into the popcorn bowl and brings a piece to her mouth, revealing her hand covered in the black gooey substance.
- Baker Chase Powell as Nick
- Nosheen Phoenix as Leah
Gruesome Magazine states: "Vexed manages to successfully blend a few different subgenres of horror films...The effort also has some sly humor to it, making for a fun, appealing watch". Stacy Cox of Decay Mag says: "Suspenseful, conceptual short...it has a plot I did not see coming. This is a good thing".
Awards and Nominations
Vexed has accumulated 16 wins as well as 12 nominations from film festivals around the world, most notably winning Best Thriller at North Hollywood Cinefest 2017, Best Midnight Short and Best Actor at the Twister Alley Film Festival 2017, Best Short Film nominee at the Pasadena International Film Festival 2017, and Best Actor nominee at Nightmares Film Festival 2017.
The film was released to Youtube October 1st, 2018 and has garnered over 180,000 views.
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- DigitalCavalry (2016-10-16). "Interview: Nosheen Phoenix". The PC Principle. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
- ""Vexed" (2016): A Quiet Night In Becomes a Terrifying Ordeal". Gruesome Magazine. 2017-05-27. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
- Cox, Stacy (2017-10-26). "Vexed, Suspenseful, Conceptual Short -Nightmares Film Fest". DecayMag. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
- "copy | PIFF 2017". Pasadena International Film Festival. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
- Callahan, Brian (2017-04-07). "Vexed". Portland Horror Film Festival. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
- "MARC Cartwright - LA's Premier Headshot Photographer and Award Winning Filmmaker". Media Inc. 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
- "Nightmares Film Festival FULL LINEUP! - Bloody Disgusting". bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
- Rawles, Timothy (2017-09-25). "The "Cannes" of Horror Comes to Ohio With Nightmares Film Festival". Horror News and Movie Reviews. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
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