Movie Review: SILENTLY WITHIN YOUR SHADOW (short film) Directed by Scott Lyus

SILENTLY WITHIN YOUR SHADOW, 14min, UK, Horror/Thriller
Directed by Scott Lyus

As their relationship grows, Lucette’s obsession for ventriloquism and her dummy Hugo starts to strain her relationship with Jace. To Lucette Hugo is more than just a dummy, he’s her best friend and represents her ambition as an artist, to her, he’s very much real.

Read review by Amanda Lomonaco:

I have to admit to having a lot of mixed feeling about Scott Lyus’ imaginative short. Like a lot of other films in the February lineup for WILDSound, Silently Within Your Shadow played on an already familiar storyline, and added its own interesting twist to the tale. Nevertheless, I had a difficult time immersing myself into the story of the film, for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, I have a slight bias against ventriloquist doll or other doll related horror films. For one nothing, in my mind, will ever beat R. L. Stine’s brilliant stories, aside from the hilarity that is the entire Chucky series. Moreover, whenever I see a horror movie doll my heart feels immediately torn between a slight feeling of distaste and an anjoyment of all cinematic things that compel me to squirm in my seat.

The performances in Silently Within Your Shadow also threw me off a little. I wouldn’t go so far as to criticise any of the actors too harshly for their work, but there were definite points in this short where I wasn’t quite buying what was going on. My uncertainty, however, stems from the fact that I couldn’t quite tell if my disbelief was based purely on the acting, or from the written dialogue itself. While the storyline for Lyus’ film twisted a well-known story in a refreshing way, the dialogue itself felt like it could have used a little more polished to seem more natural.

From personal experience doll-based horror films are something people have quite strong feelings about. Or perhaps that’s just me projecting. In any case, Lyus’ short was one of the few independently produced doll-horrors that have pleasantly surprised me. Regardless of how you might feel about these films there is one valuable lesson we can get from them; be wary of ventriloquist dummies and the people who play with them.

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Movie Review: BALLERINA (short film) Directed by Marc Thomas

ballerina_movie_poster.jpgBALLERINA
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5min, USA, Horror/Thriller

A woman at home alone encounters a malevolent presence in the form of a… music box?

Read review by Amanda Lomonaco:

At first glance, Marc Thomas’ Ballerina seems like your typical, every day, predictable horror film, but don’t get too comfortable. Through very subtle nuances, fantastic special effects, a great musical score, and excellent timing, Thomas has made an excellent short film guaranteed to make your skin crawl.

This is definitely one of those short films that I’m at risk of spoiling by saying too much about it. At just 5 minutes, there isn’t much you could reveal about Ballerina that wouldn’t ruin Thomas’ excellently plotted suspense. What I can say is that as a horror lover I rarely find myself crawling with goosebumps when I watch a film, but Thomas’ short had me at the edge of my seat.

One of the great things about this short is what Marc Thomas has managed to do with an already familiar, and almost cliché storyline. Though it’s a difficult art to master, the advantage of using these kinds of stories is the ease with which you can surprise the audience by veering from it even if slightly. Ballerina has achieved this in such a discrete but impactful way, that it’s impossible not to commend it.

The reactions to this film were all intense and infectious. It speaks a lot about any film when it can provoke such a strong reaction from a large group of strangers. If you don’t like horror films, beware; Ballerina will almost certainly give you nightmares. Then again, if you’re anything like me, that might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of BALLERINA:

Movie Review: TIME TO EAT (short film) Directed by Luke Guidici

  MOVIE POSTERTIME TO EAT, 4min, USA, Horror/Comedy
Directed by Luke Guidici

After being sent to timeout, a mischievous boy’s trip to the basement leads to a monstrous revelation.

WEBSITES

www.timetoeatfilm.com
www.facebook.com/timetoeatfilm/

Read review by Amanda Lomonaco:

Super clever, great cinematography, excellent special effects, Director Luke Guidici has truly achieved so much with so little. Time to Eat is really among one of the more unconventional horror films our there, but it’s certain to please even the most critical of horror film buffs.

To begin with, Guidici chooses an incredibly bright and cheerful colour scheme. Nevertheless he definitely proves the importance of musical score in any film, by superimposing his bright images with the perfect eery tune to leave us just suspicious enough about what might happen. Likewise, the lack of dialogue itself helps to add to this sense of unease.

At first glance Time to Eat seems like an innocent enough film. You pretty much expect it to be your typical, cliché, basement horror. Then it gives us a wonderful reminder to never underestimate what can be done with just a couple of minutes of time and an incredibly talented crew. In fact, credit must be granted to all the cast and crew of Time to Eat. Every piece of this film was extremely well executed and the care with which each cast and crew member performed their individual roles is palpable.

I was very pleasantly surprised by Luke Guidici’s work. While I have repeatedly admitted my bias towards the horror genre, I like to think it makes me more discerning as oppose to an unquestioning follower. In light of this, Time to Eat must be praised for its outstanding execution, uniqueness, and cleverness. Whether you’re a lover of the horror genre or not, this film can be appreciated by a variety of audiences and is certainly a very well spent 4 minutes of time.

 Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of TIME TO EAT:

Movie Review: CANTATA IN C MAJOR (short film) Directed by Ronnie Cramer

CANTATA IN C MAJOR, 7min, USA, Horror/Musical
Directed by Ronnie Cramer

Six-hundred-five film clips are assembled and used to create a piece of electronic music. As the visual component appears in the center of the screen, the original analog audio is sent to the left channel while it is simultaneously converted into digital music data and sent to the right channel.

Read review by Amanda Lomonaco:

Definitely not your average night out at the movies. Cantata in C Major is a shock to the system in more than one way. From the very beginning the film jars you with its unconventional structure; introducing itself and its composition from the very start. Even so, director Ronnie Cramer, manages to maintain a sense of intrigue by never quite explaining the purpose of such a rigidly constructed film.

There are definite moments of despair in this film, and not for the reasons you might imagine. Though I will admit, about a minute or so into Cantata I found myself wondering when it would end. Still as the jolting mixture of images and sounds continued something clicked in me.

You suddenly become incredibly immersed in the patterns and tropes you never would have otherwise noticed. Cantata almost seems to cancel out your other thoughts, feelings, and sense, until all you can see, hear, think about and experience is what’s right in front of you. It’s almost as if Cramer’s intention was to invoke some sort of disturbing meditative experience, an intention that seems almost implied by the film’s closing titles.

Cantata in C Major isn’t really the kind of movie you watch to experience a storyline, or to submerge yourself into someone else’s life for a short while. Cantata is a film about sound, patterns, and noise. It’s a film about films, how we watch them, how we make them, how they construct and provoke different emotions. It’s certainly not the kind of film everyone will enjoy equally, but it seems to be an introspective piece that might provide you with some interesting food for thought.

 Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of CANTATA IN C MAJOR:

 

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Movie Review: VAMPIRAS (short film) Directed by Wesley Armstrong

  MOVIE POSTERVAMPIRAS, 5min, USA, Fantasy/Comedy
Directed by Wesley Armstrong

This is the story of two woman trying to save a secret in the city of Los Angeles.

Written by Bruna Rubio

Read review by Amanda Lomonaco:

At first glance, I was fully prepared to dislike this film. The very opening scene seemed far too cliché for me to expect much from this short, but perhaps that was exactly why I found myself enjoying it more and more by the end. In fact, it was certainly one of the few short films that I felt could have been better served with more time. I almost hoped Vampiras was its own TV series, rather than a film.

I’m sure many of you are rolling your eyes right now over yet ANOTHER vampire movie, and particularly over my suggestion of turning it into a TV series. I have to admit, I was a big fan of Buffy back in the day, but I haven’t been able to find many vampire shows and films that I’ve truly enjoyed since then. I suppose some of this sprouts from the fact that I’ve always appreciated horror films that know precisely how to make fun of themselves.

In Vampiras, director Wesley Armstrong has been able to perfectly achieve the elusive balance between horror and comedy. Though the audience seemed to have some mixed reactions over the main characters’ appearance and obvious objectification, I found Vampiras to be quite an empowering film. What I originally saw as a somewhat questionable beginning was quickly compensated by the evident strength and dominance of Armstrong’s female protagonists.

Something about Vampiras certainly feels unfinished, or incomplete. Though the film works quite well on its own, I found myself wanting to know more about the stories of its protagonists. Anyone with a sense of humour would easily appreciate this film, as would any horror-comedy lover worth their salt. Vampiras isn’t exactly the most original vampire film out there, but it’s certainly worth a viewing, especially for those of us needing a good Buffy fix. It might be missing Sarah Michelle Gellar, but all the other more important elements are definitely in there.

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Movie Review: F**KING WORLD (short film) Directed by William Mussini

  MOVIE POSTERF**KING WORLD, 1min, Italy, Experimental
Directed by William Mussini

Modern man lives his life in just under a minute and thirty seconds. Frustration, joy, and a sense of incompleteness jumping from one emotion to another, from a knowledge gap to a lack filled by media messages.

Read review by Amanda Lomonaco:

Cathartic, chaotic, confusing, crazy; F**king World is the definition of all these words. It might take a while to appreciate William Mussini’s masterpiece, but it is precisely in forgetting to think and just watching that you are really able to taken in all its wonder.

Mussini’s short is a quick, precise, and vivid description of our daily lives, of our innermost thoughts. It’s a photograph of our own psyche. F**king World doesn’t need a narrative, or a protagonist, or a story line. All of those elements sprout from the audience themselves.

F**king World is extremely fast paced, and hectic, and fun, and distressing. It’s a concentrated drop of serum of emotions dropped gently into each of your eyeballs. Whether it clears or fogs your vision is really entirely up to you.

If you watch this film, be warned, you should be ready and attentive for this one. F**king World is not a film to watch, it’s a film to feel. Don’t expect your every-day film from this one. It’s so unique in its existence that I can’t even describe it, or tell you what you should expect from it. F**king World, just like our own f**king world, is just something you experience.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of F**KING WORLD:

Movie Review: BURGLAR (Short Film) Directed by Hojin Kim

  MOVIE POSTERBURGLAR, 5min, South Korea, Crime/Action
Directed by Hojin Kim

A crime takes place inside of a child’s imagination.

Read review by Amanda Lomonaco:

If any film from the WILDSound Feedback Film Festival has ever tugged at my heart strings it’s this one. Yet “Drama” is probably one of the last words any one would use to describe Burglar.

Starting off as a beautifully choreographed crime thriller, Burglar leaves the audience intrigued on the edge of their seats. The whole scene is made all the more mysterious by the utter lack of dialogue throughout it. A silence that is precisely and perfectly complemented by the musical score. Finally all our intrigue and interest is wrapped up and resolved in such a surprising, yet comforting, and bittersweet manner that you can’t help but be affected.

There was the odd person or other who seemed a little perplexed by this film, which isn’t so surprising when you consider its style. Burglar is definitely more of a poetic, metaphorical, and suggestive film. While most films like to hold the audience’s hand and pull them along the story line, Burglar pushes you head first into a pool of warm water and walks away as you try to find your bearings.

Burglar may have garnered a few mixed reactions from WILDSound viewers, but that’s often to be expected from such experimental films. It’s not unlikely that some audiences will have slightly more emotional reactions to this short than others, but that’s precisely why Hojin Kim’s film should be praised for its uniqueness. Burglar seems to have been created to give audiences more insight into themselves, than into the characters within it. Maybe if you give this short a go you’ll learn something new about yourself.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of BURGLAR: