Horrible Imaginings Film Festival

"Twisted Innocence" Short Film Showcase

Expired September 8, 2020 12:00 AM
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There is something that generally unifies much of horror fandom: our exposure to the genre started at an early age. This is not 100% true, but it is quite prevalent. With all the fear that horror movies will destroy kids' lives and make them into delinquents, it is more true that what it really does is make them horror fans, horror artists, horror filmmakers, horror writers, or, like myself, horror curators. It is also quite true that horror is at its most potent when we are kids, our imaginations are boundless, our life outlook less jaded. For me, childhood and horror are not strangers at all, but rather perfect relatives. How fun it is, then, when we get stories where children are not the target of terror, but the source of it. Not all of the short films here are exactly that, though--some are about other forms of innocence, and the horror is less overt than a scary kid. I am quite fond of this collection.

Once upon a time, Wendy Darling traveled to Neverland with Peter Pan and had a magical experience—she fought pirates and won battles. Then she decided to go home. Fifteen years later, living as a woman in turn-of-the-century London, she has a daughter of her own, but no independence and no rights. Now, aching to be free again, and consumed with jealousy at the thought that Peter Pan might take her daughter on a new adventure, Wendy camps out in the nursery, determined to convince Peter to take her instead. 


"One of the Peter Pan adaptations I've ever seen. This extension of the lore is a grounded feminist look at the mental trauma that can be experienced when having gone through a life-changing moment of euphoria, only to have it taken from you and never returned. Being replaced is hard, especially when the rules no longer apply to you, but to your own kin instead." -Programmer Sterling Anno



Director: Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Elise Robertson graduated from Northwestern University's theatre department with a minor in fine art. She is known for her dramatic adaptations of literary works for PBS, including Cine-Golden Eagle winner Ralph Ellison's King of the Bingo Game and dramatic scenes from Invisible Man for the American Masters documentary on Ellison. She won a Norcal Directing Emmy for her work on Adventures With Kanga-Roddy, and in 2012, directed the feature-length dark thriller Donner Pass. Continuing her love for lush period settings and meaningful social commentary, she has recently completed the short film Darling, Darling, Wendy, a reimagining of the Peter Pan story from a feminist perspective. In 2016, Elise founded Eastside Arts, a children’s performing arts school where she’s dedicated herself to working with the next generation of actors and filmmakers. She is currently in development on feature film Forger, a biopic about infamous WWII art forger Han Van Meegeren who inadvertently outsmarted the Nazis to become a Dutch folk hero, as well as several series: Black Bart, the true story of the man who robbed Wells Fargo stagecoaches 29 times in the the 1800’s without a horse or a gun, and an original sci fi series about a colony of refugees living atop a city skyscraper after an environmental disaster has poisoned the ground.

  • Year
    2019
  • Runtime
    13 minutes
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Elise Robertson
  • Screenwriter
    Katherine Sainte Marie
  • Producer
    Katherine Sainte Marie, Elise Robertson
  • Co-Producer
    Richard J. Dubin
  • Cast
    Katherine Sainte Marie, Ty Shelton, Drew Hinckley, Denise Nicholson, Stella Ferguson
  • Cinematographer
    Beth Napoli
  • Editor
    Mengfang Yang
  • Production Design
    Frida R. Oliva
  • Composer
    Tom Porter