'Butterfly Kisses' (2018) Review: A Creeping Horror Of Layered Mediums

By: William A Greene @damnbetic

Reviewer Rating: A

This film is a creeping horror of layered mediums, modern crowd sourced folklore, and an examination of the struggle of the modern artist.


“And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Look down the Ilchester Tunnel for an hour and the abyss will come for you.
Or so Gavin, our protagonist in Butterfly Kisses, is told when he finds the box of tapes in family’s basement. The box explicitly states “DO NOT WATCH”, so naturally, Gavin binge watches the project in its entirety. Our found footage film contains the work of two film students, Sophia and Feldman, for their final project. (Pun intended.) As we watch Gavin’s version of their film project through a documentary film which is being made, we realize that Leo is not with us and there may be no one home to wake us. We see a story of perspective through multiple lenses in one seamless, expertly timed shot. This question is posed in a medium which will call films such as The Houses that October Built and Hell House, LLC to the mind of the viewer. The question is, when staring into the abyss, how long is too long?


“ . . .but he has a trick up his sleeve you see. He has very long eyelashes”

Just as Peeping Tom hides in plain sight, just out of view, so does his background hide from our heroes. In an excellently executed formation of modern folklore, Butterfly Kisses provides a new bum in the night. In true artistic form, this film focuses on posing a question, presenting the issue, and then getting out of the way. This film asks what to do about the monster, but does not bore you with the answers. In fact, it is acutely aware that’s its modern audience will figure that out. Audience beware: If you are looking to be spoon-fed, find a Disney movie.


“and then, as the years went by it became a way to pay the bills and to still convince myself that I am still a film maker. Nowww, it’s just a way to pay the bills. ” - Gavin

The theme which I noticed most readily is that of the struggle of the modern artist. This film speaks directly to the freedom and potential of communal art. As well as it speaks to its limitations and inherit censorship. Frequently you will see the aspects of the artist being limited or accelerated through the community. As each individual comes into contact with a concept, they enhance or suppress it. This leads to advancement or repression of the artist and the film explores the turmoil and action possible in those instances. This struggle is paired up with the ever present idea of survival. How far can the modern artist yield their passion in the face of the demands of the day to day without losing themselves?


Watch for the horror.
Watch for the found footage.
Watch for the folklore.
Watch for the story of an artist.
Watch this movie!

But most importantly, watch that shadow on your wall . . .


Director: Erik Kristopher Myers
Cast: Seth Adam Kallick, Rachel Armiger, Reed Delisle, Matt Lake, Eduardo Sanchez, David Sterritt
Language: English
Executive Producers: Sonya Kalian, Lisa Mikitarian, Sam Mikitarian, and Alexander N. Shell
Producer: Stacie Jones Gentzler, Carlo Glorioso, Kenny Johnson, Erik Kristopher Myers, Robin
Nicolai, Cory Okouch

Runtime: 91 minutes

Official Site:


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