Gabriel Ponniah, Editor In Chief
ATX Screen Scene
The adversarial relationship between humans and their animal counterparts is integral to the more hard-hitting, investigative pieces at AniFab, but never is it quite so fun as in the animated short Neighcromancy. The film is a two-hander, pitting its driven, champion jockey against an overworked, dead racehorse whose eternal sleep is made none too restful when its tormentor resurrects it for another race.
The film is representative of the exploitation of animals. The cruel, arrogant jockey who defies the natural order for personal gain, is ultimately rendered impotent by the horse, who throws off the shackles of its oppressor en route to freedom. It’s a wish for justice, where in reality, the story more often ends where Neighcromancy begins: with the dearly departed worker having been run directly into the ground by the boss.
Horses, given their prevalence as beasts of burden throughout human history, make for a particularly ripe metaphor, as any fans of 2018’s Sorry to Bother You know well. It shouldn’t surprise audiences mired in the effects of late-stage capitalism to encounter media in which even death is no respite from the inherently exploitative 9-to-5. Cloak that struggle in a horseracing metaphor, judiciously apply delightful tropes and exaggerated visual language, and the result is an entertaining animated short with a message to boot.