Short Movie Roundup 24 November 2019

The Alive

A young girl leaves school, takes a phone call and drops down crying, later she’s tending to her mother, a radio broadcast clues the audience in that a woman who was clinically dead has miraculously come back to life but things are quite a simple as that it seems mommy dearest has come back with a demonic entity. Somehow in this short of only a few minutes there’s more horror and tension than a full length drawn out movie of the same subject Cameron Gallagher has done an amazing job at building a credible and tense horror, beautifully short and cleverly arranged it really does conjure up some fiercely scary moments with its Carrie like style and atmosphere meeting the Exorcist along the way, truly terrifying.

Joan

The message entwined with this creepy horror is that if you can’t get out of a nightmare then maybe you’re not dreaming. A woman, Joan, is plagued by nightmares after the passing of her partner, but one night it all becomes a bit too much. In one fateful night after losing her dog twice she calls for a friend to come over and spend time with her but the nightmares from the past and some insane creature are hell bent in keeping her awake and terrified.

It’s a bit more of a homemade short which I have no gripes about at all but the pace doesn’t really lift in the moments that it really needs it, but I do love the characters and devilish creature that comes knocking in the dark.

Origin

Ever wondered how ghosts are created? Even if you didn’t it’s played out in this Aussie short from Samantha Ferguson. A small cafe is stalked by a man who stands outside and watches the customers, a waitress picks up the courage to confront the man who gives her a wry look and wonders off, later to be found outside her house. The second half of this movie is intriguing, a little rushed but it re evaluates what we think happens to spirits in the afterlife. Films such as The Others and Static have touched on life from a ghosts perspective and this short kicks a little bit more oomph into these theories. It’s well acted but there are some minor production issues but otherwise a solid effort.

Unboxing

There’s so much I like about this short but it has some blazing issues. A woman returns home to a delivery inside her house, assuming her room mate has accepted the delivery for her she texts her claiming that she shouldn’t do that, but the friend has no idea what she’s talking about. Opening the box she finds another box something older and more curious, something like a Dubbyk box designed by someone who has never seen one, sadly the entity it holds is just some emo kid.

The woman seems to have opened herself up to this entity which seems to stalk her constantly in a reel of unending stops and starts and she is constantly waking up finding the box and being attacked in a new way until she actually does her Unboxing video for her followers. It seems to be her thing but she doesn’t seem prepared for it but the movie takes a sudden turn to scare and bewilder, but it seems so much effort for such a little pay off.

It’s quirky and well acted, the shots are great but it doesn’t really go anywhere. A great show of talent from director Veemsen Lama but I feel that future projects might shine better with a more connected narrative.

The Damned

Possibly one of my favourites out of the list this week. A few neighbours are adjusting to their new low cost homes in a city surrounded by grey walls and with limited resources. A couple meet for lunch, a salesman saves money for an expensive trip and a young teenager (who looks about 30) struggles to deal with her home and graffiti the walls that surround her unhappy world.

The application of future technology is a high point of this short, the acting of the “teenager” is truly dismal but it doesn’t have a huge impact on the overall story which is brilliant.

Trying to work out the concept of where they are and why they are living this way has a strong impact to the whole movie, I love the flashy effects that are skillfully applied and the breakdown at the end is spectacular. Once you work out what the dangers are in the big reveal at the end there are still questions, not necessarily problematic but it’s great that there’s so much going on afterwards, it really keeps the story vibrant.

It did take me a little while to work out the title, damned- damn yeah i know I’ve had a long day.. chill.

Get Out

The shortest movie on this list, it’s just over a minute long and from a Thai team that I’ve covered before who produced a movie about a haunted toothbrush! They have a talent for short comedy horrors which you can’t help getting genuine laughs and shocks from, this one is all centered around a toilet break, why do they love bathrooms so much?

Camp Monster

Peter Stanely-Ward has conjured up a heartwarming horror movie which really stands out as it’s only little universe. Camp Monster spend a generation or two with it’s tale of friendship and monsters. A group of kids at the Willowdale Monster Camp are out to collect a few items as part of their massacre scavenger tour, with the aim of finding and killing monsters, the kids certainly find a monster after playing a prank on the fat kid, after the shock and surprise, the film cuts to another group of kids who are also Monster Hunters but they somehow get caught up with the remnants of the first group.

It’s quite light hearted and I personally didn’t like the design of the Monster btu I really loved the characters and concept, it’s not often that a lore is ignited in a short movie but it’s certainly alive here and I can only hope that the Camp Monster finds his cure!?

Altereality

A really experimental piece from Jackon Wayne Putnam, with music from Zoonbanarf. I would be lying if I claimed I really understood what was happening in this short but even the director has stated that it’s a “surreal film based around dreams I’ve had”. So while the narrative might need to be interpreted by a Dream Dictionary it’s certain that Putnam has been blessed with some wild dreams and to get them on screen is a mighty feat as it can be hard enough to recall a dream let alone reproduce it. The aesthetics and mood is brilliant in this monochrome world.

Spegelbarn/Looking Glass

A small girl is watching a cartoon TV show along at home on a stormy night, until her reflection starts to play up she realises that she might not be alone.

Erik Rosenlund has truly created something that actually upset me momentarily, the film is pretty chilling, maybe it’s something about the scratchy black and white After Effects drawings or that a small child is stalked by a monster while being home alone and unable to defend herself? Things happen so slightly at first and you’re focused on one event, not realising that the threat is coming from more than one point, this clever set up keep the creeps pretty fresh.

Either way the character design and situation is spot on and totally works both while the action is being played out and later on when looking at my reflection just to make sure everything is okay on this side of the mirror. Really riveting stuff! Rosenlund is working on a Prequel and there’s an animation test is below I can’t seem to find anything else but I will keep looking as his technique and character development is really neat.

Gordon

Directed by and starring Jake Lofven as Gordon, a young man with murderous intentions but unable to cope with what might happen after his poisonous plan is carried out.

This avant-garde piece was a school project and displays a lot of talent and true creativity, more so than a lot of established directors are able to achieve. Lofven’s style is a sort of psychedelic Wes Anderson on Monster I love vintage look and feel of an innocent dinner date gone to the extreme. I can’t wait to see more from this vibrant young man, who not only has a while imagination but a great taste of music too!

It does seem that Lofven has moved on from YouTube since 2017 (damn why am I always so late to catch onto things) but hopefully he’s still being creative and will come back soon or better yet on the big screen.

…and to view the archive of all short movie roundups check the link here.
https://admitonefilmaddict.wordpress.com/category/style/shorts/

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