Rockford Native’s Uncomfortable Horror Short Film Creeped Me Out
A very unsettling 17-minute dive into the darkness of depression and anxiety. That's the new film from Janina Gavankar and 815 native, Derek Schelling.
To feel this movie, and I mean really feel this new horror short film, Stucco, you need know what agoraphobia is.
Agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh) is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
If this is what these two can do with just a little over 15 minutes, imagine the kind of horror Janina Gavankar (The Way Back) and 2008 Hononegah grad Derek Schelling could unleash. Stucco, written and directed by Gavankar and Schelling (who uses the stage name 'Russo' now), is about an agoraphobic woman (played by Janina Gavankar) whose house may or may not be harboring an evil spirit inside the walls.
One of the best pieces of advice given to writers is to "write what you know." Schelling and Gavankar confirm how good that advice is, with their work, behind and in front of, the camera took it to heart
In a recent interview with SyFy Wire, Russo Schelling said,
"we were going through some real stuff and this movie is pretty autobiographical for both of us." He also described the movie as an allegory for "depression and anxiety."
This film made me several layers of uncomfortable, and I mean that in the best way possible. It's exactly the kind of feeling I want when watching a scary movie.
Congratulations Derek 'Russo' Schelling, your hometown is incredibly proud of you. This film you and Janina made (along with the help of many others) was outstanding.
While the film focuses mostly on Janina's portrayal of a woman going mad, there are several quick cameos from Debra Messing (Will & Grace), Michael Ealy (Stumptown), Colton Haynes (Arrow), Rutina Wesley (True Blood), Emmy Raver-Lampman (The Umbrella Academy), Aisha Tyler (Archer), Amy Forsyth (Hell Fest), Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil), Roby Attal (Messiah), Rafael Casal (Blindspotting), and Leslie Odom Jr. (Murder on the Orient Express).
Stucco does features imagery that may not be suitable for younger audiences.
And here's the tasty teaser poster. FYI, that's Schelling's tongue sticking through the wall.