We could say that ‘Petra‘ is a fairly predictable short film that tackles a very popular theme in horror movies: the haunted house. We could say that this project is also a shocking metaphor of post-war emotional trauma. At the same time, we could say that the film signed by Andreas Avgousti is a hallucination bordering on psychosis, dynamized by violent images. In fact, this short film is all this together, but surpassing the well-known structure of a cheap horror intended for large audience, with a suggestive interpretive consistency, which makes the spectator’s reception attack various reading keys. Even if on a superficial epic level the project depicts the attempts of a young woman to face the frequent visits of the ghosts of her past, a closer look reveals us – through the intelligence with which the director intersects the present with the past, the war with the post-traumatic experience, nightmarish flashes with images cut out of the diurnal reality – a painful panorama of the human soul, a hallucinating plunge into the subconscious tortured by the burden of a crime that becomes a kind of hereditary stigma condemning the emotional balance of the current moment. Thus, this thriller-horror project with slight inflections (as the director shows us at the end of the film) of surrealism falls into the category of visceral experiments with a diffuse and obsessive rather than explicit violence that exceeds the pretty limited aesthetic standards of other projects of this kind, meeting the exigencies of these cinematic genres.


After Petra returns to her family house, after an absence of 25 years, strange events happen more and more, until the paroxysm triggers the cruel revelation. The ghosts of the past have not found their peace yet.


Even though the epic formula may not surprise by its absolute nonconformism, the great quality of this project lies in its cinematic substance, since the director proves a remarkable talent in creating suspense and manipulating sequential transitions that make the hallucinating periplus of the protagonist into her family’s past become an almost tactile experience exceeding in intensity the banal jump scares. Andreas Avgousti is already a mature director with promising insights who manages to simultaneously orchestrate all the components of a short film without neglecting the chromaticity, acoustic background or subtle details that decisively influence the way in which his project is received. ‘Petra’ is thus an impressive experiment through its ability to catalyse strong emotions, providing audiences intense thrills with a generous interpretive grid while plunging into the terrifying hallucinations of a soul tormented by demons of the past.