Jesse Burks has done it again. First there was “One Please” starring Catherine Burks, Michael Berryman, and Sailor Holland, that gave you a whole new outlook on the ice cream man. Now we have “Cured” as he brings back Berryman and Holland in this new razor sharp short horror film about hospitals and surgeons…everyone’s nightmare without the cutting irony that Burks inflicts upon his viewers! It’s a journey into the unknown that would give Rod Serling a run for his money.
In “Cured,” we find a young woman fighting for her life, strapped to a wheeled gurney. As she is abruptly pushed into the eerily stark surgical suite, the real terror looms ahead. Anesthesia anyone? The barbaric surgical strategies that this maniacal master of the scalpel deliberately and emotionlessly performs is disturbingly perplexing. But even more perplexing is the fact that there is a sweet and beautiful young girl who is not effected in the least by what is happening right before her eyes! The missing piece of the puzzle isn’t revealed until the very end, but then it’s too late…the goosebumps have burst through your clothes.
Berryman, known for just about every horror film from “OneFlew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975 to “Tales from the Crypt” and “Kill or Be Killed” in 2015 and everything in between, portrays the cool as a cucumber surgeon in “Cured.” His face
and determined expression say it all—without a single word uttered. There’s a juxtaposition between his actions and what emotions he elicits from the viewer. We want to trust him, but should we? Holland appears to play the an angelic surgical assistant. She’s sweet, but there’s something off. Again, all of this conveyed without a word. The tension is palpable as the story is stripped away, layer by layer, always asking, “Why?”
Filmed in black and white, the clarity and depth of each and every move is captured. There is no escaping what unfolds before you. The deliberate movements and pacing with not one word spoken, is captivating both visually and intellectually. You are always guessing and assuming—the wrong thing. This dark film brings to light a brutally realistic horror story complete with just the right sound effects that will send some viewers running. It makes a trip to the dentist for a tooth extraction look like a visit to a pastry tasting. The special effects are mindbogglingly disgusting and real to give you a complete experience of horror.
Burks’ ability to tell an unnerving story in just a few short minutes is masterful. If you thought “One Please” was disturbing, “Cured” is in its own category of creepy. With precise edits, remarkable physical acting, and attention to every possible detail, Burks’ filmmaking skills may just allow him to give up his day job as (are you ready for this?) a surgeon!