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Twine (2015) Short Film Review

twine1Twine (2015)

Dir: Richard Heap

Starring: Dylan Smith, Charlie Gallagher

Plot: The vicious relationship between a father (Smith) and son (Gallagher) plays out in a ruthless game of cat and mouse. Shared heartbreak and resentment looks like it will tear them apart but the two are bonded by hatred.

I love a good short film, there’s something fascinating in making a story so concise. They cut out all the fat of a feature and deliver something strange and wonderful. Twine, directed and written by Richard Heap, delivers a torturous story of family. Telling a story between just two characters focuses on intense intimacy. Dylan Smith and Charlie Gallagher give their all in this performance. Smith particularly as the drunken, controlling father, elicits so many emotions, adding complexity to his character and to his relationship with Gallagher”s.

twine3The short”s setting is also incredibly important to the story. This isolated cottage, lost amongst the snow and the wilderness. It’s this separate place, disconnected from our own world. A personal hell between this father and son. There is no outside repercussions to worry about, it’s only the destruction that these two can inflict upon each other.

The only element of this film that I found slightly difficult was understanding Smith and Gallagher’s thick Irish accents, especially with the drunken slurring. However enunciation isn’t too important here, the words are less important than the tone of what is being said.

Looking into Richard Heap’s credits, he’s already accomplished so much, especially in the documentary field. Twine is his first step into fictional film making and Heap and his crew have created something that looks great and evokes true feelings. Running just shy of twenty minutes, it’s a deep and investing story that I recommend watching.

8/10

And why not see if you agree – Watch Twine here now!! Enjoy!!

Two Missing (2014) Short Film Review

two4TWO MISSING (2014)

Director: Claire Fowler

Stars: Morfydd Clark, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Benjamin Dilloway

UK RELEASE TBC

Sensitive Eva (Morfydd Clark) and her wild co-traveller Annabelle (Sophie Kennedy Clark) are driving along an isolated road through the forest when their car breaks down. As the panicky Eva starts to stress, hard-partying Annabelle remains cool — especially when help arrives in the form of a gruff and rugged stranger, Bill (Benjamin Dilloway).

However, under the canopy of branches, Eva starts to feel increasingly nervous of Bill’s ill-mannered demeanour — not to mention the loaded shotgun he carries. As Bill and Annabelle proceed to flirt, Eva finds herself torn between rescuing their lifeless car and her growing mistrust towards their sinister new companion…

A good short film needn’t have the most intricate or layered of plotlines — instead it can thrive by taking a simple premise or scenario and expanding upon that. The 16-minute runtime of director Claire Fowler’s Two Missing is a perfect example of this. The film takes place pretty much in a single woodland setting, with just three characters, yet it remains utterly captivating. This is due to the fact that we know something is obviously wrong (it IS a horror short after all, it’s never going to pass without incident!), but the story keeps us guessing as to which form the horror will take and from which direction it will come.

two2The story (written by Fowler) is patient yet precise, slowly increasing the tension without giving away the final reveal in advance. Yes, it may be a little slow going for some (it could probably have lost a couple of minutes in the editing room if I’m entirely honest), but what this more leisurely pace does is gently ratchet up the tension, slowly drawing the audience in until we’re thoroughly wrapped up in the tale, then slamming shut on us with its vicious finale.

A major factor in this comes from the fantastic cast that deliver some believable and clever dialogue. Morfydd Clark is excellent, imbuing Eva with a palpable vulnerability, an emotional and physical fragility that means you can’t help but sympathise with her, while still wondering if maybe she’s overreacting to the situation. Sophie Kennedy Clark also impresses as the bitchier, more louche Annabelle. She’s both entertaining and a little unlikeable, a very tough balancing act to pull off. What’s more when the time comes, she knows exactly how to accurately portray the slipping of a tough girl façade. This is pretty great work.

The final member of the core triumvirate is the suitably menacing Dilloway. He also puts in a strong performance, keeping Bill an unsettling presence without ever over-playing it. Is he just an unrefined and coarse man or something more sinister? Dilloway is canny enough to keep us guessing right up until the bitter end of the tale.

And this is a tale that’s told and presented very well — it looks fantastic, with the talented Brown and cinematographer Chloë Thompson ensuring that the Epping Forest location (the short was shot just outside London) looks rich and every bit as captivating as Brown’s intelligent look at gender roles in the plot. With some beautiful greens and deep earthy browns, the colours really pop while some subtle camerawork just heightens the sense of isolation for our characters.

two3I don’t want to spoil the end of the film, yet it’s something I’d love to discuss with those of you who have seen it. Suffice it to say, the climax is thought-provoking, shocking and even a little moving.

Should the short come to a festival near you, Two Missing is well worth your time.

7/10

Short Sharp Shock #19 I Love Sarah Jane (2008)

Short Sharp Shock banner no boltWelcome to UK Horror Scene’s Short Sharp Shock. This is where we will feature a short film each week for your viewing pleasure. Short films are the foundation of Horror, it is where many of the established directors cut their teeth . The amount of quality short films out there is incredible and it is our pleasure to choose you a new one each week that we think will blow you away. So every Friday we will give you ‘Something for the Weekend’ and issue your weekly Short,Sharp,Shock! Enjoy!

I Love Sarah Jane (2008)

Director – Spencer Susser

Writers – David Michôd, Spencer Susser

Starring – Brad Ashby, Mia Wasikowska, Vladimir Matovic

IMDB – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1157658/

Runtime – 14 Minutes

Jimbo is 13 and can think of only one girl — Sarah Jane. And no matter what stands in his way-bullies, violence, chaos, or zombies-nothing will stop him from finding a way into her world.