As you may or may not know, I attended my first Fantastic Fest earlier this month and perhaps the greatest delights (of many, many delights) was the opportunity you get to see all kinds of far-reaching foreign films, obscure passion projects, and exciting shorts from up-and-coming filmmakers. Now, you can catch a little piece of that yourself with the cheeky horror short Givertaker, which as been made available in full online.
Directed by Paul Gandersman from a script by Peter S. Hall, Givertaker is a fun throwback to YA horror of the 90s about a pissed off teenager who conjures an ancient entity known as the Givertaker to get her revenge against the mean girls who ruined her life.
When I was a kid, I spent every spare moment devouring genre paperbacks. Whether it was downtime between classes, summer break at my uncle’s ranch, or yet another Saturday morning I woke up before everyone at a sleepover, I would crack open my silly little YA horror paperbacks and go down the rabbit hole of ghosts and goblins and backstabbing bitches. Givertaker feels a lot like that, sort of like being transplanted back my favorite childhood pastime. It’s a lot of fun, and as the awesome poster below proves, that’s exactly what it’s supposed to feel like.
At Fantastic Fest, Givertaker played as a fantastic pairing with A Dark Song, a feature film which landed on my list of genre to put on your radar, and another clever occult film about ritual-gone-wrong with undertones of “be careful what you wish for”. No word yet on when that Irish ditty might be landing stateside, but for now you can check out Givertaker in full below. And if you like it, good news. It’s an introduction to a new series of interwoven stories about a town filled with teenagers that trifle with the supernatural, Arcanum Pictures’ (Hall and Gandersman’s production company) Dead Kids Club. Personally, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next one.
Written by Peter S. Hall and directed by Paul Gandersman, Givertaker is a short film love letter to ’90s teen horror of all forms. Starring Nell Kessler, Caiti Ward (Rooster Teeth’s “RWBY“), Jessica Perrin (Found Footage 3D), Sharmita Bhattacharya (iGirlfriend) and John James Pepper, Givertaker is the fun genre story of Sarah, an angry teen who conducts an ancient ritual to seek revenge on the classmates she believes have wronged her.
Givertaker also serves as a proof-of-concept introduction to the world of Arcanum Pictures’ Dead Kids Club and its interwoven stories of teenagers, transgressions and a town filled with all manner of different supernatural elements.