It says a lot about the creepy factor of a film when the simple act of spreading strawberry syrup on an ego can bug you right the fuck out.
Dana’s got herself in one hell of a predicament. The pretty high school blonde is sitting through one hell of a tense dinner with Wendy, the school freak and resident science whiz alongside her beaming mother. The atmosphere shifts from merely uncomfortable to terrifying when Wendy relays the old chestnut about smashing a classmate’s teeth in after being false accused of cheating on her project while her suburban soccer mother casually drops F-bombs denouncing anyone who badmouths her little girl.
Of course, I don’t know how Dana expected to win the science fair when she lacks the brains to leave the house of psycho mom and freaky Wendy before making a call to her friends to badmouth the girl and blow her cover.
In just over five minutes, writer/director Rafael De Leon whips up a gruesome high school outcast revenge flick. Without spoiling too much, the short’s title stems from Wendy’s rather unique deformity. De Leon knows how to frame a shot that allows the suspense to ratchet up while still delivering the goods. This is especially evident in the brief scene just after Dana’s call home. Poor Wendy screams herself hoarse in the basement while blood pours off her face. While we have no idea what’s causing her face to ooze, it becomes readily apparent that dessert’s not going to be a sweet time for Dana.
Well acted and tightly paced, De Leon’s Waffle is one of the stand out shorts I’ve received this year.
WAFFLE (teaser) from Rafael De Leon Jr. on Vimeo.
Look for Waffle to play as part of Mike & Chris’ Sick and Twisted Night of Horror March 2nd at the Somerville Theater.