Reviews / Women Film-makers

WIHM SHORT FILM REVIEW: White Roses (dir. Lisset MendoZa)

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‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ is the way the saying goes, a saying all too familiar within Lisset Mendoza’s latest short ‘White Roses’.

Desiree wants love, she wants to be in love and feel appreciated by a man who feels the same way in return, and she believes she’s found this with Travis, a married man and also an abusive one. Travis gives Desiree white roses, a symbol of their secrecy and her continued silence, but when Desiree informs Travis’ wife of their affair things take a very sinister turn.

The beauty of White Roses is that it never appears to be a horror orientated film from the outset which ramps up the creep-factor when the dark events eventually come to fruition. Both leads are also terrifying, Kory Karam as Travis screams with a wide eyed anger I could only pin-point to Jake Gyllenhaal’s recent portrayal of Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler and Erin Dellorso (Desiree) is completely merciless; it’s always great seeing women villain’s and it would be interesting to see this short expanded to a feature length, exploring Desiree’s murky and mysterious past.

The idea to use narration more than dialogue was an exceptionally good choice here, Desiree’s voice-over to me, encapsulated a teen girl mentality, it felt like we were reading whispers from a private diary that no one else knows about and the sound design too complimented this descent into madness. Personally, I am a huge fan of blood and guts, and often feeling that making use of that feature can make a character appear more sinister but I appreciated the subtlety here, Dellorso’s vacant and uninterested stares as she gazed upon dismembered fingers managed to make her ever more distant and cold.

By Chloe Leeson


CHLOEChloe Leeson is 19 and from the north of England (the proper north). She believes Harmony Korine is the future and is pretty sure she coined the term ‘selfie central’. She doesn’t like Pina Coladas or getting caught in the rain but she does like Ezra Miller & Dane DeHaan a whole lot. Her favourite films are The Beach, Lords of Dogtown and Into the Wild. But DON’T talk to her about Paranormal Activity. She rants @kawaiigoff.

One thought on “WIHM SHORT FILM REVIEW: White Roses (dir. Lisset MendoZa)

  1. Pingback: WOMEN IN HORROR SHOWCASE: ‘White Roses’ by Lisset Mendoza | SCREENQUEENS

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