Upon looking at The Chickening, other filmmakers wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer. That’s a bit of hyperbole, but the short film does seemingly represent the culmination of remix culture in film. Directed by Nick DenBoer and Davy Force, The Chickening has toured film festivals for a while—playing TIFF, Fantastic Fest, and most recently at Sundance—and has finally landed online. It is an augmented reality version of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, but with chickens, interdimensional aliens, and a 42-year-old manchild at the heart of it all. It manages to be an absurd, barely cohesive story of one family’s descent into poultry-themed madness, while still showing love and reverence for Kubrick’s horror masterpiece.
DenBoer and Force have delivered a short film/mock trailer that seemingly puts everything into a blender, adds a few chicken nuggets, and sets the baby on spin until a bunch of weirdness comes out at the end. The duo said this about their effort:
The Chickening is the first of its kind in remixed, augmented cinema. It is a theatrical trailer for a fictional film in which Stanley Kubrick’s classic film The Shining has been artfully transformed into a new, poultry-infused comedy adventure by digitally altering the film to create a new narrative. This new style of filmmaking is a hilarious collision of classic films with modern day visual effects; “Cinegraffiti”—the ultimate neo-nostalgic visual feast for this digital age.
It’s slain audiences with its weird but funny insertions, goofy computer manipulations, and over-the-top gonzo attitude that defies definition and categorization. Simply put, it must be seen to be believed—and it’s an experience that none shall soon forget. Be warned that there is some NSFW language and an image or two that might raise eyebrows in the office. But all in service for an off-the-wall approach to a revered cinematic entry, and something that is truly unique.