Home Horror Entertainment News ‘White Willow’ Filmmaker Follows Up With ‘Panther Ridge’ Short: Review

‘White Willow’ Filmmaker Follows Up With ‘Panther Ridge’ Short: Review

by Kelly McNeely

Ryan Swantek shocked us with his debut short film, White Willow. His newest short – titled Panther Ridge, which you can watch here – reminds us why he’s a name to watch out for.

The short film clocks in at just over 6 minutes in length and brings a deeply unnerving edge to the world of underground extreme BDSM (with an emphasis on extreme).

The film follows a young actress, Vera, as she tries her hand at her very first scene. It does not go quite how you’d expect, taking a sharp turn from sexy domination to a vicious “suffer and snuff”.

Vera initially admits that she is nervous, but her boss/director assures her that they know everything about their clients. She just needs to focus on her performance.

The audience doesn’t know Vera’s story or the circumstances of how she got there, but it’s easy to relate to her anxious hesitation in this insane scenario.

The camera doesn’t flinch, and we are left to wonder who these mysterious clients are.

Perhaps it’s the music, or maybe it’s the ominous ending, but Panther Ridge has a touch of a Serbian Film vibe to it (in a way that keeps the intense creep factor, but without the disturbing details).

Panther Ridge was shot with no budget – or funding of any kind – over a weekend. The idea started as a 30-page spec script that Swantek wrote in a screenwriting class at the University of Toledo. The short is based on a collection of scenes from a feature version of the film, which has certainly piqued our interest.

The short’s crew members – excluding Swantek – and two of the actresses are student/graduates from the Ringling College of Art & Design. In true “do it yourself” style, the set dressing of the St. Andrews Cross and BDSM frame were hand built.

Panther Ridge is a punchy short with a tight story that leaves us wanting more. If you’re curious to watch it yourself, click here.

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