Mannequin, Great Body Horror For Possible Feature Film
Mannequin Film Details
Director: David Teixeira
Writer: David Teixeria
Release Date: June 22nd, 2019
Release Format: Digital (YouTube and Vimeo)
MPAA Rating: Currently Unrated
Running Time: 9 minutes 15 seconds
Social Networking: Facebook
Barbara is going to visit her niece for her birthday but she didn’t find time to buy her a present. Her sister Julia found the perfect present and she bought it for her: a mannequin doll. After a long day, Barbara decides to spend the night at a Hotel, before heading up to see the family.
Mannequin is a French psychological horror film that follows Barbara (portrayed by actress Lea N’Kaoua) and the horrifying events which take place inside of her hotel room the night prior to her nieces birthday.
Considering the primary setting of Mannequin is inside of a hotel room, Teixeira was able to make each shot look beautiful, bright, clean and visually inspiring. The idea of body horror in one shape or another isn’t anything new. However, Teixeira is able to take a few items which have been seen throughout the genre over the years, combining them to create something new.
Although the build-up to Barbara inevitably becoming a mannequin was mesmerizing and unique, I was still reminded of other films involving characters becoming inanimate objects such as Tourist Trap and House of Wax. The transformation in comparison to these other films is definitely one that stands on its own.
Pulling out a one-woman show is no easy feat but it’s one Lea N’Kaoua is able to accomplish with flying colors. She was easily able to sell her fearfulness to me as she is slowly and painfully transforming from what she is to what she thought she wanted to be. As her body sets through the film, N’Kaoua’s body language and eye movements are really able to portray the anguish she is suffering through.
This is where things start to drop down for me a little bit as there is no exact explanation as to why Barbara’s transformation is taking place. As a viewer, I have to assume that the Barbie doll she has in her possession is the key to everything that is happening.
If the film were able to get a full feature, Teixeira would get a chance to properly and fully stretch out the story which would likely make it incredibly interesting and highly entertaining. For any low budget genre film, effects are key in portraying something gruesome. The ability to use these effects properly helps expand on the realism of the situation.
With the combination of N’Kaoua’s acting and Teixeira’s use of minimal effects to explain the physical pain Barbara is going through work wonderfully and truly shows viewers the agony in which she is suffering.
Going back to what I stated earlier regarding the length of the film, it felt as though things were a little rushed and was not able to build the suspense enough the lead into a proper scare for a veteran genre fan but may have a better effect on those who aren’t used to seeing these types of scenes.
This is a great idea for something that could be built into a possible future feature film. If the story, ideas, and suspense are grown throughout an 80 or 90 minute feature, Teixeira would be able to hit on all the keynotes a horror film typically needs in order to be successful and would benefit to see Lea N’Kaoua expand on the character of Barbara to show audiences what she does in order to end up with the fate of becoming a human mannequin.
The film may suffer from an issue with audiences who do not speak or understand French. Please, do not worry as subtitles are available for those who require them!