Scheduled as part of a series of experimental shorts alongside Maggie Scrantom’s Atoms of Ashes and Haley McCormick’s Dancer, Melika Bass’ Creature Companion remains one of those unclassifiable cinematic objects of the year. It’s a sweaty-palm experience: unceasingly discomforting yet beguiling in its absolute, pathological disinterest toward anything resembling narrative or plotting. Instead, it strips down the mechanics that we hold as dear and vital in cinema, piercing through the integument of expectations in favor of something utterly primal. So yes, this is a difficult sell. But for those willing to extend beyond their comfort zone, Creature Companion may provide you with unexpected solace. Bass made me involuntarily aware of every cardiopulmonary move I made during the runtime of her film, creating a sense of hyperawareness and anxiety that’s all too rare in any cinematic experience. This film is alive and it grabs you by the shoulders and rattles your body awake.