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  • Writer's pictureNatalie

[Short Film Review] Tristan Risk's Reptile House (2020)

Before I begin this review, I would like to acknowledge that this short film was fortunate to be filmed on unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.


"Did you know that the female snake is usually the stronger and larger of the species?" I didn't know this. Did you? Well, get ready to go on a deep dive on the internet about snake facts after watching this short film, written and directed by the talented Tristan Risk and starring Sharai Rewels and Jesse Inocalla.

(Courtesy of Tristan Risk / Photo by Scott Alexander)

Tristan Risk's second short, Reptile House, features Sharai Rewels (Ramshackle Blues) as Thena, a mysterious yet charming woman living in a home full of lovely exotic reptiles. Thena has been communicating with someone about the potential sale of one of the reptiles under her care, but the transaction ends up going in a different direction.

After seeing Risk's first short film, Parlour Tricks, which she also wrote and directed, you will definitely notice that she has quite the unique eye for detail and story telling. In Reptile House, compared to Parlour Trick's black and white style, we actually get to see gorgeous, dramatic and bold lighting being used through the whole short (almost giving me neo-giallo vibes). Which all of it combined, just ends up giving us some stunning shots and highlighting perfectly not only her super talented human stars and their performances, but also the beautiful reptile collection. Which by the way, did we mention the reptiles seen on camera are all part of Risk's reptile collection (and all members of TCS Reptiles!)?! So we know these co-stars are being treated like royalty on and off camera. As much as I want to get into Sharai's character style (because I LOVED it) we can't be spoiling everything so I'll leave you with one thing to remember: sssnakes are everywhere. 🐍

(Courtesy of Tristan Risk / Photo by Scott Alexander)

Overall rating: 4.5/5 knives🔪


Reptile House is currently in the festival circuit.

If you want to catch Risk's Reptile House, it will be playing at the 2021 Portland Horror Film Festival which goes from July 28, 2021 - August 5, 2021 (you can attend in person or stream at home so you do not miss out)! Check it out here.

In the meanwhile, make sure to check out the trailer down below.

Make sure to follow Tristan Risk and check out her upcoming projects on her Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and her blog!

Thank you so much for reading this short film review! If you want to see more like this, leave a heart on this review and please remember: keep on supporting Horror!

Until next time 🔪


A note from Natalie: If you noticed, we started this review a little differently due to where this short was filmed. If you are outside of Canada (like myself) or from anywhere in the world, it never hurts to start educating yourself on things that may be unknown to you (like this was to me) and be respectful. Thank you to Tristan Risk for informing me about the filming location!

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