Beware the Fungal Takeover! – ‘Interitus Adfectus‘ Entangles the Mind in Slow-Creeping Old School Horror
My filament-loving fiends, allow me to enthusiastically implore you to infect your eyeballs post-haste with the recent 20-minute horror short “Interitus Adfectus.” This loving throwback to the glory days of practical effects-driven horror chronicles a graduate student who finds her apartment and psyche slowly consumed by a rapidly spreading new mushroom species she was cultivating. And I assure you, this freaky fungal short has much more than mere surface scares on its creepy, creative mind.
First, let’s hype up the ogling of fantastic analog effects work that so masterfully brings this homegrown mushroom mayhem to vivid life. Filmmakers Joey Povinelli and Ella Clover made the wise choice to construct every individual parasitic prop and prosthetic by hand to maintain that grimy, tangible horror texture. Without flashy CGI to fall back on, one can sense the passion and painstaking detail crafted into every facial appliance, each intricately arranged fungal cluster, the gradual mold buildup overtaking household objects and architecture itself.
I found myself fully immersed in the atmosphere of contagion, imagining I could feel the damp, earthy despair as this homemade botanical nightmare slowly devours the cramped apartment setting from the inside out. Lighting choices shroud scenes in fittingly musty gloom. The tone expertly replicates the sensation of being trapped as organic invaders run rampant, decor and human inhabitants alike lost to the tide of all-consuming fungus.
But beneath the masterclass in cultivating set-based suspense, “Interitus Adfectus” taps into poignant metaphorical meaning that elevates its entertainment value substantially. The ominous Latin title, translating to “inner decay,” hints at thought-provoking themes of unrealized dreams festering into nightmares that ultimately swallow the dreamer whole. Our graduate student protagonist makes for an empathetic anchor as her academic and personal frustrations manifest in the parasitic fungus and its ability to dominate fragile minds along with living spaces.
Smartly concise runtime prevents these weighty concepts from overwhelming the creepy craftsmanship. Instead, it organically binds mood, emotional substance and lovingly analog aesthetics into one cautionary mycological parable, conclusions open to interpretation but impact resonating vividly.
So for those fiending for a short that blends golden age horror homage with a meaningful message beneath the mayhem, “Interitus Adfectus” is required viewing. Let this forest of finely detailed fungi take root in your media diet, and remind yourself that sometimes the most terrifying infections come from within our own psyches.
Check out the trailer for Interitus Adfectus below