Bree Newsome became a folk hero and viral sensation over the weekend after [strapping on a climbing harness, scaling a flagpole and removing a Confederate flag on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse, but Newsome is not just a dedicated activist. It turns out she’s also a talented filmmaker.

Journalists digging into Newsome’s background a few days ago quickly stumbled upon Wake, an award-winning short film she wrote and directed in 2010 when she was fresh out of NYU. It’s the story of a woman who, after her oppressive father dies, opts to create a perfect husband for herself through an old tradition called “root magic.”

Of course, dealing with supernatural forces backfires, and she must contend with the darker side of her creation. The atmosphere is satisfyingly Southern Gothic. Newsome strikes the right balance of spooky and serene, and when the the tension really starts to mount, there are some genuine scares.