Emilie Flory: A Macabre Compulsion

emilie flory trauma dolls

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[1] Ladytron “White Gold”

[2] Ladytron “Seventeen”


trauma dolls horror

If there’s one thing that perplexes me in the very best way it is the human brain. This wonderful piece of kit is primarily responsible for every impulse, every thought wave, every feeling we express and, in the correct hands, is a thing of insurmountable majesty. My own cerebrum is a sprawling metropolis of activity and, forty-years on, I’m only now beginning to harness the power beneath the hood. So when somebody comes along with the same inexplicable gift for motoring neurons, I sit up and take notice accordingly. This is not the first time I have spoken of wonderful Parisian pioneer, Emilie Flory, and neither will it be the last. However, today I plan to elaborate further on why the future of modern horror is something she is destined to play a substantial part in.

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It started when she confided with me her screenplay for Trauma Dolls, a psychological leviathan just bellowing out to be green-lit. As I hung from her every word and soaked up the illumination protruding from the words before me, I also found myself visualizing every conceivable shot, almost as though I had gained access to her mind’s central reactor and was being given a free guided tour. Instantly, I knew I had found my way inside no ordinary sweat shop, and was also aware that she possessed a rather exclusive set of tools which set her apart from her contemporaries. The mind can be a wonderful thing when its owner knows how to speak it succinctly and Trauma Dolls couldn’t have been more concise in its fabrication.

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So what does one do when intrigue rears its inquisitive head or three? We keep on burrowing in the hope that we will unearth other suchlike concealed treasures. Over the next couple of months, I discovered a veritable bounty of gemstones, the likes of which would make Aladdin’s lamp seem fit only for the next flea market, and they’re all tucked away in this woman’s trove, positively screaming for the world to discern their dazzle. My case in point is this: we began to collaborate and ordinarily this is a laborious exercise as it pulls me from my comfort zone. However, my prose was decorated so exquisitely by her intoxicating visuals that it felt as though she had been watching it unfurl as I scribed it. Both What’s in The Box? and The Last Waltz sit amongst my proudest achievements since I started out almost three-years back and my words dance that much more freely from the page as a result of her optical infusions.

posterRecently, Emilie went one better when, after visiting L’Étrange Festival in Paris and being bowled over by both Ben & Chris Blaine’s Nina Forever and the RKSS Collective’s Turbo Kid, she decided to write a double-headed appraisal of these fine works. As a “critic” myself, I understand how troublesome it can be compacting your zeal into a couple of thousand words and making it snap at the readers’ Achilles tendons, as opposed to leaving them anesthetized. When she sent me her draft, translated by her dear friend, Cameron Watson, and I perused said piece of literature, I was promptly upstanding and offered ovation from the opposite side of the English channel. AN EPIC DOUBLE FEATURE REVIEW is so much more than a bunch of synopsis and one-sided reckoning. Her affectionate rejoinder cut deep to the marrow of both films, revealing what could so easy be overlooked by the untrained eye.


I pride myself on the fact that my appraisals can make something appeal when previously you may not have thought to give it your precious time and that is precisely what she achieved here. Moreover, armed with her knowledge, I know full well how to approach both movies and have no doubt that I would echo her exact sentiment. This is no small feat and I have heard it remarked many times that the hardest thing a writer can do is to dissect another’s art as it’s ultimately all subjective and the true answers lie in another place entirely. However, she managed it with considerable aplomb and it proved, once again and categorically, that everything this woman touches is white gold flecked with splashes of deep red.


Trauma Dolls is an ambitious project and needs to be as it possesses far greater scope for invention than your run-of-the-mill horror movie. This is the kind of film which would be right at home at Cannes Film Festival and, moreover, her eye for visual detail gives her the very best positioning behind the lens when this ultimately comes to fruition, and I swear blind it will. Self-taught with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Dario Argento, David Cronenberg, William Friedkin, and Paul Verhoeven as spotters, she plucked cherries from each and learned the art of optical storytelling from the true crème de la crème in the process. There will be no such thing as a bog-standard shot in Trauma Dolls or, at least, only when she deems such fit to hit home the humanity. Indeed, her camera will be the most voyeuristic, most probing, and most intrusive piece of equipment imaginable.

emilie flory filmmaker

Another reason why Bijou’s tale is such a mouth-watering prospect is that she has first-hand experience of the fashion industry and knows how it feels to be on the wrong side of the single-minded glare of the lens. Drawing from experience like this affords her the opportunity of crafting her chief protagonist almost as an extension of herself and this means gripping the bloody beating heart of Bijou or, in this case, kneading her damaged frontal lobe. If you’re looking for authenticity then try this on for size. Emilie too suffered a near-fatal road accident which left her in critical condition and comatose so, make no mistake, when you look into Bijou’s eyes, it will be Emilie Flory very much staring back at you. This kind of investment reaps the best dividends, especially when it is vital to her that all five senses be engaged as I have mentioned previously.


While Trauma Dolls percolates beneath the surface like a malignant tumor, she has something else planned, and this is set to provide further evidence of her cinematic prowess. Starfucker goes into production in November and is part of the upcoming 60 Seconds To Die compendium currently building its head of steam. Among the directors also attached to this project are Oklahoma Ward, Adam Ginsberg, Jeremiah Kipp, Tony Newton, Michael J. Epstein, the great John Amplas, and yours truly. For Emilie’s segment she plans to take a stab at the Italian Giallo although, her vision will look to turn the whole genre on its head thus giving it a fresh lick of deep red emulsion for us Generation Xers. I promise you it will be very special indeed and, in little over a month, filming will commence. Look out for Constance Pizon in an unforgettable lead role which is sure to turn heads, seasoned professional and close friend Ludovic Berthillot, and also for her supremely gifted Director of Photography, Tariel Meliava, whose style is set to compliment her vision exotically.

emilie flory filmmaker

I grew up idolizing visionaries and it was fascinating watching on as they realized their trajectories. Right now I truly believe that the future of the industry rests squarely on the shoulders of a few key individuals who have something truly unique to say through their art. More specifically, body horror is due for a good defibrillation. Cronenberg gave us a primarily alpha perspective and it seems fitting that Emilie Flory knows precisely what the other side of the coin looks like. Back to Trauma Dolls for a moment as it promises to be just as intoxicating on a sensual level as the Canadian at his apex.

emilie flory golden bodies

The body beautiful happens to be something which Emilie knows rather a lot about having been ensnared within the industry’s splenetic gossamer herself and she openly celebrates both the beauty and fragility of the human body in any of its forms. This much will become apparent as this project reaches fever pitch. Then there’s the small matter of both the already written Golden Bodies: Fitness is Business and underway Psychotronic Girl O.S. to push the psychological envelope even farther.

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All of this brings me back from bells and whistles to the woman who is Emilie Isabelle Flory. A source of radiant light to so many, she is nary less than graceful in her interactions and, perhaps most critically, has in her possession a rather exclusive perspective. I never need to explain something to her twice as she feeds constantly from any dialogue where the other gives in return. This, in turn, leads to exchanges that bring the very best out of us both artistically and not a solitary word ever feels wasteful. Insight is key and hers is very much bona fide as she knows a thing or two about synapses and how to wire us for pleasure, laced with sweet agonizing pain of course. She has extensive neuroscience research under her belt, has been to the white light and turned her back on it defiantly, and is primed to paint the whole town deep red which just so happens to be a color of which I’m particularly partial.

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1 Comment

  1. Absolutely wonderful, Keeper. Emilie has such a vibrant mind, and I look forward to the horror and stories she’ll bring us. I have had no doubt that TRAUMA DOLLS will amaze, and STARFUCKER will be no less brilliant.

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