Other Lily: Horror Shorts
Directed by David Romero
The Story: A young woman falls victim to sleep paralysis and subsequently has the worst night of babysitting ever.
Remember when action figures were just toys and then they became collectables with accelerated pricing structures? There was a time when kid’s entertainment was meant for kids. Then the nostalgia wave of the early 2000s hit and we still haven’t recovered. One of the upsides is that what would previously had been described as “kid friendly” became “adult friendly.” That $29.99 NECA “Friday the 13th Part IV” ‘Jason’ wasn’t an action figure geared for kids. It became a well designed and thought out piece of mass produced pop culture art. And you own the whole set. Nerd (I collect Funko’s. Thank you, next).
Other Lily’s art style looks like it could have come from one of the great gems of 2000s Cartoon Network programming: “Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends.” The art style has that sort of rounded, easy to process appearance that was typical of that show and the characters of Lily and her little sister are drawn in that cartoonish way where Lily just looks like a bigger version of her little sister. They also bear a strong resemblance to one of that show’s human characters, ‘Frankie Foster’ (In my research I also learned that DeviantArt can ruin anything from your childhood). I mean, it looks pretty innocent and, dare I say, family friendly. You could set a child down with you and watch.
WARNING: DO NOT LET A CHILD WATCH THIS!
Sleep paralysis is awful. A waking nightmare where sufferers have described a weight pressing on their chests, an inability to defend themselves, and a visit from some sort of manifestation. The details are varied but the experience is consistent amongst people who live with it (and the people that sleep with them every night).
Why am I even giving a spoiler warning at this point?
When Lily goes to sleep, she is besieged by sleep paralysis and is soon visited by ‘Other Lily.’ ‘Other Lily’ is nightmare fuel. She moves by going limp and stretching and crawling towards Lily. It’s some very, very, freaky stuff. It’s like if they greenlit a season of a “Ju-On: The Grudge” as an animated series.
Then it’s over. It was at this point that I assumed we were done. That was nice. Blah blah blah. Wow, did I get swerve. The stakes then proceeded to rise and rise and rise. Twists. Twisty Twists.
The baseball bat sequence. Let’s talk about that. If you’re looking for something that recently attempted something similar to the baseball bat sequence, then look no further than the climax of “IT: Chapter One.” I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Other Lily did it better. Yeah, I Said It. “IT” is a fantastic film and passes on its craftsmanship and fidelity to detail but Other Lily’s build and reveal and second reveal leading into an ending that earns every bit of its jump scare. That sequence was brutal on the emotional and physical level and sometimes occupying the same space of feeling.
So if nothing else, David Romero, you directed a short film whose central plot point is better than the similar plot point in “IT”. I’m not mad at all about that.
What Should I Watch After This? “Black Christmas” (1974), “Donnie Darko,” “Nightwatch” (1997)
Writer. Wrestling mark. Dog parent. Halloween enthusiast. Always wondering about the me on Earth 616 and what he/she/it’s up to. Currently residing in Los Angeles.