FEBRUARY 2021: CUBICLE
Written by Stefan Kaday Produced by Chloë Wicks
Directed by Chloë Wicks
It's been a while since our last ShortSpace entry (five months in fact, sorry), but we are delighted to bring this monthly feature back with a bang as we shine a spotlight on a short film we actually watched a long time ago and have been waiting patiently for the time to come that we were allowed to share it with you all.
If you didn't have an aversion to public bathrooms before, this super creepy short will definitely see to that. After a successful festival run, we are happy to introduce Cubicle for your viewing pleasure, and after you watch the film, check out our mini interview with producer-director Chloë Wicks below.
The film has such an interesting and unique concept. Where did the initial idea come from? My writer friend, Stefan Kaday, and I wanted to make a very simple, contained short - something we could make in a day with no budget and just one main actor. I'd made drama shorts before and was keen to make something within a clearer genre, with a defined scare in it and an intended effect. With drama it's more nebulous - you can't ever really say "they WILL cry at the 7 minute mark or the film has failed", whereas I think maybe with horror it's a bit more objective and you can more consciously craft something that will frighten (most) people, which really appealed to me.
Thematically, Stefan and I were both interested in how pregnancy is quite a conflicted, anxious issue for a lot of women, even if you want children. Taking a pregnancy test has become this incredibly charged moment with an accumulated, almost cartoonish significance from films and books, sort of becoming its own monster. Exploring that within a more nightmarish and metaphorical concept felt like an exciting way into those quite recognisable fears.
Despite its short length, the film has a very defined atmosphere. What was your process in creating that?
I basically just wanted to lean into the odd, often creepy atmosphere that public toilets already have. There's such an uneasy tension between it being a publicly accessible space but also a very private, intimate one as well. You're incredibly close to people, you can hear their every move, but you can't see anything. So we wanted to be with a character in the confines of her solitary cubicle, but start to unfold frightening things around her that she can only hear, not see. I also wanted to show how the cubicle oscillates between being a private, safe space she has sought out at quite a vulnerable, personal moment and then becomes a pretty horrific cage that she's trapped in.
Follow Chloë Wicks on Twitter here to keep up to date with her future work.