Secrets can be dangerous in Boo (2019)

Enigmatic multi-threat Rakefet Abergel, who previously wowed in the oscillating, offbeat Jax in Love, makes her directorial debut with the harrowing short film Boo, which follows a recovering alcoholic who, on the eve of her seventh year of overcoming addiction, must battle her demons⁠—figuratively and literally!

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WARNING – SEMI-SPOILERS BELOW

After earning her latest sobriety chip, Devi (Abergel) can’t help feeling down on herself. Her friends try to sympathize⁠—they understand that addiction is overcome one day at a time. But nobody⁠—least of all Jared (Josh Kelly), Devi’s loving and supportive boyfriend⁠—knows her hidden struggle to stay on the straight and narrow. Her cravings go beyond alcoholism into demonic territory … and can only be described as monstrous.

Enter Chris (Michael Villar), a leering stranger in a parking lot, who waylays Devi with a silver flask and an offer to party. She refuses, more to protect him than herself. Chris persists … and deservedly learns firsthand the horrible secret that Devi is harbouring. Which, in the viscera-strewn aftermath, she can no longer hide from Jared …

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As in Jax in Love, Abergal is a compelling presence, effortlessly skating from despondence, to terror, to devastation from scene to scene. But Boo truly shines with its treatment of addiction, which uses a clever allegory to show how it doesn’t just haunt and erode the afflicted from within, but their nearest and dearest as well …

Boo will soon screen at HollyShorts Film Festival; updates for the film can be found at Cyclamen Films. Rakefet Abergel can be followed on Twitter @rakefet27.

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