At the Toronto After Dark festival last year, one of the big hits was Dear Beautiful, an animated film detailing a plant-driven apocalypse that puts The Happening to shame (not that that film shouldn’t have its head buried in the sand in shame, anyway). The unique and striking art style stuck with people, and really is one of the more original “horror” shorts you’ve seen in a while, being more about a failing marraige than anything else.

The original short is (madeningly) only available in tiny form online at Moving Pictures Magaizine, but even in this small version you can see the amount of work that went into the animation.

After the fest rumors about a feature film adaptation of the film sprung up and proved to be true, and the guys over at Quiet Earth bugged director Roland Becerra for info and got an exclusive trailer for their work. And as you can see, this one already looks even more impressive.

The official synopsis- “The sudden appearance of exotic flowers in New
Haven spawns an unprecedented epidemic rumored to be the result of a
botched experiment by cosmetics giant, V-Zone. Paul and Lauren, a
married couple, are caught between the catastrophe and their own
troubled relationship when Lauren encounters one of the flowers and
becomes infected. As her symptoms worsen, Paul’s denial of Lauren’s
illness puts the couple in grave danger as the city is overrun with
infected people, media frenzy, National Guard, protesters and a
panicked populace. Struggling to maintain a normal daily life, Paul
engages in a battle of wills with his best friend and business partner,
Roger, as Paul tries to deny his wife’s condition and Roger tries to
take matters into his own hands. As the epidemic reaches a climax, Paul
must confront the reality of his situation as well as the monster his
friend has become.”

Let’s hope that this new version of Dear Beautiful gets at least a dvd release, because this beautifully animated film really is a nice change up from most of the boring apocalyptic horror being released nowadays.

Check out the film’s MySpace page for more info and pictures.