Movie Review of the Short Film “A Peaceful Man”

“A Peaceful Man” played at the best of Thriller/Horror short film festival in October 2015, as part of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Monthly Film Festival. It was the winner of Best Cinematography in a short film.  

Australia, 4min, Action/Thriller
Directed by Harrison Norris

Beaten within an inch of his life, a peaceful man has a gruesome epiphany through violence.

Learn more about this short film HERE

A Peaceful Man Review by Amanda Lomonaco

All of us are capable of violence and cruelty under extreme circumstances. At least that’s what Harrison Norris, director of A Peaceful Man, wants to convince us of in his gory short film. His bloody, cringe-worthy, gory close-ups might distract you from that message a little though, or at least it will distract you from the voice-over narrative.

I’m not saying this movie is bad, in fact this was one of my favourite films of the night. What I really mean, is that the cinematography in this film was so brilliant that it almost overshadowed everything else about it. I would venture a guess that the cringes and gasps coming from the rest of the audience indicated they may have agreed with me. Even the special effects didn’t even have to be that great to appreciate this flick, although they were certainly impressive. The very thought of the level of violence being implied in the film was enough to make people curl up in their chairs and look away.

That, to me, is effective filmmaking. Making your audience feel something and react to the very idea of what is being depicted on screen. Even though I’ll admit to only paying attention to half of the spoken narrative in the film, I feel that Norris reserved the most important bits of monologue to the least impactful visual moments. I was able to still understand the gist of everything the narrator was saying while still being able to enjoy the bloody wonder that was being paraded in front of me.

I think Norris makes some really good points in his film. The level of gore and violence simply emphasized how far all of us can be pushed, or in fact need to be pushed, in order to reciprocate with the same level of anger. When it comes to survival, we are all animals, we all have to follow our instincts, and we will all defend ourselves, even if that self-defense involves something we would never imagine ourselves doing. That’s where Norris’ images almost don’t need a narrative. If you simply consider the film’s title, and then focus on the images and how they make you feel, you’ll probably catch on pretty quickly.

By now you’ll have realized that you should not watch this movie if you have a sensitive stomach. On the other hand, if you’re a crazy lover of guts and gore like me, this film should be mandatory viewing. Norris’ cinematographer deserves an award, and  would happily volunteer to make one for him.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of A PEACEFUL MAN:

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