Is there anything more terrifying for a 20-something commitment-phobe, than a platonic hook-up getting clingy and developing feelings? Maybe when you add in supernatural forces in the form of a disfigured child and Japanese anime-style genital possession, at which point it becomes a nightmare.
Fuck Buddies tells the story of Ellie (Sharon Belle) and Joseph (Alexander Plouffe), platonic friends-with-benefits with raging hormones that are set off by random triggers: Vincent Prince films, burning fried eggs, Pachelbel's Canon in D major. It's openly casual, but they're not exactly on the same page. Ellie likes how platonic the relationship is and enjoys not being tied down, while Joseph harbours long-held romantic feelings for her.
The discovery of a box of photos and mementos supposedly from a future predestined for the two gets the ball rolling, and it's not long before a supernatural entity appears in the form of a silent, blind child who forces the two to confront their relationship. It twists the film from a quirky romantic comedy to a second half filled with gross-out humour and downright horror, drawing on the fear that comes with having your free will forcibly taken away from you.
Canadian writer and filmmaker, Nate Wilson, uses the film to explore the topics of destiny, testing fate, and the consequences of sex and relationships, the latter of which was also tackled in the feature-length film It Follows.
More than an exercise in shock value, Wilson explained the meaning behind the film:
By treating the consequences of sex in a serious way within the context of a Horror movie, I hoped to explore the idea of biological purpose fighting back against human concepts of sexual safety and freedom. My intentions were always to hop around tonally to tell the story, but to never pull the rug out from underneath the audience – as in, I never wanted the film to maintain one style or genre long enough for the audience to ever think they’re watching “this kind of movie” or “that kind of movie”. If anything, I wanted the speed and energy of the short to feel like you’re watching only the best and most-important parts of a story that could have taken much more time to be told.
If the premise sounds intriguing but the gross-out moments and hentai-style antics are holding you back, check out the music video for DyE's 'Fantasy' as a warm up and an idea of what to expect (warning: Super NSFW)
You can watch Wilson's entire film below, but prepare yourself for some serious squirming:
Despite its over-the-top antics, Fuck Buddies is more than a piece of body horror. It's strangely romantic and heartbreaking, with convincing performances from its two leads that will leave you squirming, laughing, and mourning the loss of their independence all at once.
You can check out more of Nate Wilson's work here.