The most successful horror films are those that play with the spectators’ expectations and not those that aim at terrifying their viewers just through jump-scares. Corey Emanuel Jr. is fully aware of this aspect, and his short film, ‘Lies Inside‘, is a clear example of directorial intelligence that develops in front of the viewer a simple but misleading narration. Basically, the director uses a well-known thematic “bait” – domestic violence – in order to shatter in the next moment our expectations, through an unpredictable turn. In fact, this horror short film avoids the general structure of the genre, since the action rather marks the beginning of the nightmare the characters must face. The screams, the bloodsheds, the unleashing of demonic presences take place only in the viewer’s mind, after the short film is over. The climax of the story is left to the public’s outlooks. Thus, the director successfully avoids the cliché patterns specific to the genre that, at best, would have condemned the project to a predictable fate: shocking, but not memorable. Fortunately, this is not the case, and the short film manages to capture our attention, despite the schematism of the story and the characters who are, in fact, universal typologies.


Corey Emanuel Jr. prefers not to go into details about the causes that led to the decisive moment: what apparently takes the form of an emotional crisis of an alcoholic man quickly reveals a much more terrifying reality. Thus, the short film follows both the moments of madness of the man who is about to take a bloody decision and the attempts of his son to save his mother from death.


The psychology of the characters is reduced to instincts – everyone fights for their own truth, for their own survival, while the director leaves us to speculate on the characters’ past and on the nature of the relationships that underlie the state of affairs we witness. This elliptical strategy is extremely effective, since Corey Emanuel Jr.’s goal is not to create a multifaceted action, but to build a visceral emotional experience in which he blurs the line between reality and fantasy, between realism and demonism. In addition, the quality of the image and the professionalism of the editing proves a good knowledge of the cinematic language and a promising artistic vision. ‘Lies Inside’ is thus an intense, intelligent and shivering experience that will keep you close to its dark atmosphere.