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Fantasia Fest 2020: “Don’t Text Me Back” Short Film Review

Did you know that Fantasia Fest 2020 has a selection of short films? There’s over a hundred options available to watch right now, but if you are looking for a fun, quick watch, Kaye Adelaide and Mariel Sharp’s “Don’t Text Back” is a heck of a choice. 

Don't Text Back
Photo credit: True Sweetheart Films

In this comedy horror short film, Kelly (Danielle Lapointe) is in desperate need of help to get rid of a cursed, unremovable necklace that chokes her whenever she doesn’t text Will (her failed Tinder date) back. Kelly is aided by Jaren (Nancy Webb), a brash, socially responsible energy healer that quickly gets down to business. This crazy mix of horror and comedy is exactly what I’m looking for in my Fantasia shorts. 

This film doesn’t take itself too seriously. The story is clever and the quick-witted jokes reminded me of “30 Rock.” If you’re a fan of that type of humor then you’ll get a laugh out of “Don’t Text Back.”

There’s an element of horror not only in the dark magic within the necklace, but in the concept of an ill-fated online date. You will definitely cringe at Will’s Tinder profile photos and flinch at the way he communicates. Adelaide and Sharp handle themes of sexuality and toxic masculinity in a light, honest way. 

This short film is trying to convey a message of empowerment and self-improvement. We’ve all been on horrible dates and have had bad romantic experiences. “Don’t Text Back” is relatable and gives words of encouragement to do better. 

“Don’t Text Back” was shot by a crew of women and LGBTQ+ artists. The special effects are basic but cool and the story is full of charm.

It will be screened on August 26 at 7:10 p.m. (ET) and September 1 at 3:00 p.m. (ET), along with the outstanding horror film “Bleed With Me” by Amelia Moses. So yeah, this is a must-see package. Make sure to check out all our Fantasia Fest coverage here.

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