Bouncing around my Twitter, an indie filmmaker by the name of R. Michael McWhorter asked me if I had five minutes to check out his short horror flick. Being who I am, horror-phile and great admirer of both independent films and the short film format, of course I was only too happy to oblige.
Megan has just moved into a new apartment. When we first meet her, we gather that this is her first foray out into the big, bright world on her own; the conversation we get one side of is obviously with a somewhat overprotective mom (doncha love ’em?). With Romero’s Night of the Living Dead on her TV, we also kinda figure Megan must be a pretty cool girl. While she ambles about her new place as she’s conversing, she notices what all of us do when we’ve committed a healthy deposit on a living space; she notices umpteen things wrong with it. There’s a creaky floorboard. The previous tenants must not have liked either the apartment or the landlord; they broke every single light bulb in the place before they left. Resigning herself, she ends her conversation with dear old mom and settles into bed. Drifting off to sleep, she’s troubled by horrific dreams…but as she finds herself hovering between the waking world and the dream, how much of it is subconscious fantasy, and how much is real?
This little 300 second flick does the job that any short should do very well; it puts you in a moment, shows you something that grabs your attention, then leaves you to figure out what the hell just happened all on your own. I have to say, I liked it; after it ended, I kept mulling it over for quite a bit…and that’s all I ask from any short film. The direction was well-done, and the acting was convincing; the foreshadowing and building of suspense was pulled off by the numbers, and the overall effect was satisfying (pay particular attention to how the flick plays upon the old cliche of the flashlight that always fails at the worst possible moment). If I have a complaint, I think it would have to be regarding the makeup of the antagonist; while very professional, it was still a bit hard to believe in (that said, I admit that might not be entirely fair; I mean, who knows what such a thing would really look like if it existed?). However, that’s just my opinion; it didn’t by any means ruin the flick; the thing had to look like something!
To put a cherry on top, there’s a twist at the end that I honestly have to say caught me off-guard; I won’t say anything beyond that about it; take five minutes of your own and see for yourself!
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