Written and Directed by Richard T. Wilson
Starring: Catherine Kustra, Nicholas Zoto, Christie Parker.
What’s it all about?
Young Luke isn’t particularly popular with the other boys. One day he makes a new friend, Charlotte. He calls her The Halloween Girl and things begin to change….
I had no real expectations of this film, I went in knowing nothing and although it wasn’t the greatest of short films and it didn’t really surprise with it’s twists, it did surprise me with the strength of it’s performances and the dialogue. The actors all equip themselves very well, particularly Nicholas Zoto who comes across as both likeable and lost.
The film looks like it was done with little to no budget and at times it allows that to be slightly distracting as are the extreme close ups director Wilson uses over and over again. Not really sure what his fascination with the Extreme Close-Up is, but it was annoying and didn’t do the story, or cast for that matter, any favours. Still, it could have been worse, he could have tried to get even closer, perhaps up a nostril or an eye socket. Luckily, he refrained and instead kept it to the faces. Lots of close up faces…lots…
The little subtle visuals he dropped in weren’t too subtle, more kinda clobbering. The scene transitions, the use of slow-mo and the visual effects all tend to be irksome. But, for all of that, Wilson has put together a nice little film that breezes through it’s 18 minute running time. We get a feel of the characters and their situation very quickly and it never feels like exposition, it’s all nice and natural.
Charlotte is mysterious, we know something isn’t right with her, but she comes across warm and friendly with the young boy, Luke’s relationship with her isn’t uncomfortable, it’s a story worth following, one that holds the interest. The chemistry between Kustra, who plays Charlotte, and Zoto is charming and sweet, it’s a very believable relationship they build, which is important as they are central to the story. In addition, Parker puts in a decent shift as her life crumbles beneath the weight of her past.
To be fair to writer and director Wilson, this is where you make your mistakes as a filmmaker and it’s not like he’s made a bad film. On the contrary, The Halloween Girl is good. He’s found a good cast, he’s produced a good script and the end result is worth taking the time to view. I’ll certainly watch his next one, I just hope he eases up on the Extreme Close-Ups.
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