This review for Slasher month is a feature on a recent independent production from a Nottingham-based low budget horror company, Sick Bunny pictures, founded by brother duo Nikki and Jason Chatwin.
Nikki is the writer/director/camera having a background in art and film education making many short films prior to the sick bunny banner. Jason’s roles include editor/camera with a background in music.
The brothers are extremely passionate about film of all sort but with SBP they are are focused on their true passion of horror and exploitation films. As Nikki told me; “we at SB also believe that the horror community is so loyal the indie horror film makers that we are almost like a “family” so for their loyalty we will listen to our fans and bring them exactly what they want to see”.
The newest release from Sick Bunny pictures is a short film called 15-05-08.
15-05-08″ is a ‘found footage’ slasher film and is intended to be the first in a series of short films. The film was officially released May 15th ( see what they’ve done there?) which is free to watch online at; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj3DH4bnkn4
This will be followed with a DVD release at a later date.
The plot goes something like this. The story takes place on the 15th of May 2008 when a group of 4 young adults witness a break in at a neighbour’s house, which they believed to be empty for the weekend. Being the type of nosey teenagers that would make Scooby Doo proud, the group continue to watch the neighbour’s house recording it which their video camera as evidence………
What I will say is that I was surprised when I watched this for the first time. “Why were you surprised Stuart?” I hear you ask. Well as I mentioned previously, ‘found footage /hand held camera POV’ movies such as Blair Witch etc aren’t really my horror bag. So I experienced a fair amount of trepidation when Nikki sent me the movie today and asked me to give it a review – after all, my intention was to be honest, and i wasn’t looking forward to telling all and sundry that I didn’t like it. Well, I had absolutely no need to worry.
This movie is something of a treat.
Considering that we are only witnessing just over 16 minutes of movie time, a huge amount of emotional experience is packed into it. At first, when the group of friends in a very normal suburban house on a very normal suburban road witness a light going on in what they thought was the empty house across the road, they treat it as a bit of fun. It’s all giggles and bad taste jokes at first.
However, before we the viewer have time to realise it, the tension is being raised as the mood subtly changes, not only amongst the group of friends in the film, but also at the same time for the rest of us watching . We all begin experiencing the same rising unsettling feeling that something isn’t right, until the suspense and tension has been raised to such a level before we witness the final few moments of, well, terror. The ending is simply excellent.
I wish I had more time to write about this movie. I love my independent low budget productions, often even though the filming may not always be great and the acting may not always be exactly top notch. But these guys at Sick Bunny pictures may give indie movies a bad rep – for the camera work is excellent, as is the acting. To say this is a debut feature belies the quality of work behind , and in front of the camera. The delivery of the dialogue is natural and convincing from this group of players, almost to the point that I was wondering just how much of the dialogue was scripted or improvised.
This is a fine movie experience. If you like your suspense built upon suspense until you’re hit full in the face with the finest of brutal film climaxes – then this is nearly 17 minutes of just what you ( and I it seems) like.
After the DVD release of 15-05-08 they have a number of other ideas that they want play with, including a sequel to 15-05-08 called “untitled tape”. There has been a hint of a production of a more traditional slasher movie, some plans for zombie films and sand intriguing plan for a more extreme topic called “Tools of the trade” (a progression of a short promo that they have previously made).
I really can’t wait to see what the future holds for this company.
About Stuart Anderson
I can trace my love of horror back to my first experiences of the genre when I was about 9 years old and allowed to say up and watch one of the Universal classics (The son of Frankenstein). Since then I've had an obsession not only with the classic Universal horror, but also Hammer horror and a variety of sub-genres such as slasher and zombie films etc. The current independent horror and sci-fi movie scene is fascinating - so much so I decided 6 months ago to write my own blog (The Fifth Dimension) which full of lovely reviews and interviews. The links to the fb page & blog is