Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Salute Your Shorts!

I recently had the pleasure of checking out the following short films. Be on the lookout for them as they make their way through various film festivals and por favor, check out the filmmaker's sites for more details surrounding these and other works. They are definitely worthy of your time and attention.  

Familiar (2012)

Fear 3/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 4/5

Coming from the same production team behind 2010's Worm, Familiar is a perfect companion piece to that film. Whereas Worm focused on the inner maniacal ravings of a teacher, bogged down by the system, and the rut of his everyday job but ultimately, he's pretty harmless as he never acts out the horrors that are swirling in his head, Familiar sees the exact opposite happening....with a much more startling effect.

Starring again in the title role, Robert 'I want to see him in a feature length production so badly!' Nolan, fantastically plays a father beat down and cynical by the trappings of every day life. But he's oh so close to getting his only kid out of the house, on to college, and then it's onwards to enjoying retirement. Despite the drag of it all, it's this one thing (and the idea of purchasing a new pickup) that keeps him going. But his fantasy is crushed when he learns that his wife is expecting.

So what does he do? Let's just say he works to rid himself of the 'problem.' But there is one more festering within, a monster that needs escape, needs release and needs to make sure that what he ultimately desires is fully realized. A fantastic psychological horror that will make you cringe during its climax.


House Call (2011)

Fear 3/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 3/5

House Call focuses on a young couple, happily celebrating their 1 year anniversary. The only problem? The girl killed her abusive ex and crazy mom that was holed up in an asylum is actually out and just so happens to be a witch. And she places a curse on them both. The spirit of her dead son comes back, he's pissed, and out for revenge.

Not a whole lot of depth here other than what I've outlined above. But where the film really shines is with the genuine scares that are delivered and an honest to goodness reliance on practical gore effects. I actually shed a tear. It was beautiful. Had CGI been used, this film would have been knocked down a few rungs on my ladder of awesome.


Microcinema (2011)

Fear 2/5
Gore 1/5
Entertainment 4/5
Creepiness 3/5

Another great psychological horror thrill, Microcinema breaks the typical slasher mold. Instead of playing within the confines of your standard sub-genre tropes, Microcinema seeks to explore the actual rationale behind the killer's doings. It's not just some 'Mommy messed me up really bad' justification. Or 'I was wronged by the school jock' impetus. This is one born out of a perceived practical application. And the script and dialogue are both masterfully written and delivered.

Where the film goes next is interesting (to say the least) as our central character actually runs into someone who is just as much if not more of a monster than he is.

You can actually check out Microcinema RIGHT NOW for the paltry sum of $0.99 cents. Put down that pack of gum and check this out! 

Microcinema Trailer from Harvest Tide Productions on Vimeo.


Mike Snoonian said...

I have a hard time with House Call. There's no denying it's well. I had a hard time buying into the idea that the leads "deserved" the fate that befell them. It was made pretty clear in the preamble that the husband was a wife beating piece of shit. It's pointed out that a)hes knocked her out cold in the past and b)he planned on doing it again as soon as he got out of his last bath. There's a meanness to the short that seems to justify the violence against it's main character, especially with the delivery of "happy anniversary" as the kicker. It didn't sit right with me.

Planet of Terror said...

Hey Mike, sorry for the late response. I just got back recently from a bachelor party in New Orleans. Is it possible to have a 3 day hangover?

I know what you're saying. I kind of chalk that up to the nature of the short film format. Things are a little rushed and its hard to have a genuine build towards tension or a motive behind things.