Candy Skin is an ambiance-driven short film with plenty of body horror and some incredible practical effects.
Candy Skin’s story is fairly simple. David (Renny Jachowicz) has some sort of long term illness and goes with his girlfriend Lynne (Stephanie Moran) to visit his doctor for a new type of medication. They return home and he takes his first dosage and falls asleep on the couch, with a promise to help with chores when he awakens. A few hours later he wakes up to find that everyone has disappeared. He walks through his neighborhood, looking for anyone he can find, and is assaulted by some unseen force. He rushes back to his house, climbs in his car and drives away.
As time passes, his skin begins to turn black and pieces of his body begin to deteriorate and fall off. In addition to this, he is also being pursued by a strange, bloody creature that is wearing doctor’s scrubs. He desperately runs for his life and tries to piece together what is going on as his body continues to fail. I won’t say more about the plot, except that there’s an interesting twist to the story that I think most people will enjoy.
My favorite part of the film was the music. The score was as much a character in the story as David or the creature. It drove the film and created a sense of urgency throughout. It was at its most effective in making me feel true terror during the early scenes when I had no idea what was going on. The score was composed by William McTavish and excelled at pulling me into the story.
Another part of the film that I loved were the practical effects. There’s a few especially bloody and gross moments in this film that would likely make lesser horror fans a bit squeamish. I thought all of it looked great, but the “tongue scene” was definitely my favorite. If you watch this, you’ll see what I mean.
Candy Skin was written and directed by Kyle Martellacci, and has been well received, being a selection in 23 different film festivals thus far. I personally enjoyed it quite a bit, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys body horror or ambience-driven short films.