CIVET:  A Review by Author Matt Lohr



Tonight, I was fortunate enough to get an early sneak preview of CIVET, the intense and unsettling new sci-fi / horror short from visionary filmmaker Benjamin Capps. A follow-up to Capps's stunning 2016 film IT GROWS DARK, for which I attended the world premiere screening at Other Worlds Austin, this film follows protagonist Deke Lape even further down a mysterious and surreal rabbit hole of dark erotics, body simulacra, and deep personal damage and suffering, all suffused with the filmmaker's sleek yet inwardly corrupted retro-future aesthetic.


Capps delivers a striking performance, alternately wounded and icy-cold dangerous, and as we follow him into uncharted, kinky new territory, the character and performance remain creepily unpredictable. Katherine Bellantone likewise makes a fine impression as Capps's unneccessarily patient colleague / lover.


As with IT GROWS DARK, this is a technically superb short, with Matthew Hughes providing crisp, inviting cinematography, and Capps and Christiane Cegavske delivering disturbing stop-motion body-horror terrors and impressively integrated low-budget CGI. Capps also creates a pulsating original electronic score, and Occlude's end title theme, "Absolved Son," is a dense, brooding powerhouse.


Check out CIVET's Facebook page, and here's hoping you'll be seeing it at a screening near you very soon. Benjamin Capps remains very much a filmmaker to watch and savor.


Matt Lohr

Author, "Dan O'Bannon's Guide to Screenplay Structure"




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