03 November 2014

November Short Film Extravaganza Vol. 1: TICKLE / WASTED NIGHT / LAST NIGHT / BANAT TRIANGLE / STALKING MISS BARLOW

TICKLE
(12minute short)

USA, 2014
Director: Corey Norman

9/10










When it comes to independent filmmaker Corey Norman, it looks like I definitely prefer his short films over his features. His full length debut "The Hanover House" was a huge disappointment, but I liked last year's "Natal" and I absolutely loved this year's "Tickle", an excellent little creepfest about a babysitter and a little boy getting haunted and scared to death by the tickle monster "Tic Tac", a creature who looks for feet that are sticking out from the blankets...


From the eerie Halloween-pumpkin-filled opening to the surprisingly nasty finale, "Tickle" drew me right in, captivated, hypnotized and fascinated me with its simply but super-effective and very well told storyline, with its high amount of suspense and creepiness, and with the scary-looking, superbly designed monster. Terrific photography, a wonderfully intriguing score, ace editing and fabulous performances by Casey Turner and child actor Andrew Lyndaker. Love the amusing little moment when he's saying "My feet aren't tick-uh-lish!"
Final verdict: Tickletastic!

Tickle on Kickstarter



WASTED NIGHT
(2minute short)

France, 2014
Director: Joseph Catté

8/10







After the excellent "Like A Doll", young French filmmaker Joseph Catté surprises me with yet another impressive short film, though while "Like a Doll" was more of an atmospheric, eerie and complex little film, "Wasted Night" is radically different and completely over-the-top, taking place at a restaurant where a young couple experiences a rendez-vous that doesn't go as planned, at least not for the guy because the girl has... um, let's say, she has VERY odd eating habits...


Romantic piano music. Amorous glances. Love is in the air. Suddenly: aggressive electronic music, the woman goes 'berserk', pours vinegar and oil over her face, 'murders' a piece of butter and tears a piece of meat to pieces. It's silly and bonkers, but it's also so much fun, thanks to the insane editing, the wild 'dubstep' attack and the fabulous performances of Pauline Helly who causes a 'culinary massacre'. Love how freaky she looks, eyes wide open, grinning like crazy. Not a wasted, but a well spent night! ;-)




LAST NIGHT
(23minute short)

Australia, 2013
Directors: Chris & Robert Smellin

7/10










After the two satisfying shorts "Zero" and "She's Having a Baby", the Australian filmmaking twin brothers Chris & Robert Smellin sent me yet another quality film: "Last Night", a tense little chiller about a newly wed couple that gets terrorized by two strangers, a woman and a man, in the middle of the night. What starts out as mere home invasion thriller, quickly descends into revenge-drama-mode with mysteries getting unravelled and dark secrets getting revealed...


Obviously inspired by "Funny Games", the Smellins created a tense and well-photographed little thriller that delivers the goods with lots of eerie moments, interesting twists and some gorgeous gore. The opening might be a tad too long and the ending is quite foreseeable, but aside form that, there's nothing to complain. Great acting performances, especially by Lisa Marie Shaw and Kieran McShane, splendid editing and an unsettling score.
Can't wait for the next Smellin flick!




BANAT TRIANGLE
(6minute short)

Origina Title:
Banatski trouago

Serbia, 2012
Director Marko Backovic

7/10







"Banat Triangle" is a super-strange but highly interesting little short from prolific Serbian filmmaker Marko Backovic, based on a bizarre 1987 case where three mental patients escaped from three different mental institutions. When they were caught, they gave identical statements about where they were and what they did. Instead of trying to solve the mystery, Backovic focused on the patients' experiences and created a weird film that manages to be enigmatic and entertaining at the same time.


Somewhere between feature films like "Triangle" and "Mine Games", or short films like "El Ciclo" and "C is for Cycle", the "Banat Triangle" unfolds a mysterious and inexplicable event that seem to repeat itself over and over again. The movie's tone feels like it's a collaboration between David Lynch and Tobe Hooper. The atonal soundtrack somehow reminded me of experimental 70s Kraftwerk. Acting, editing and cinematography are all very solid. It's a tad too short, too quick, and the absence of any dialogue is a bit frustrating, but aside from that, I enjoyed it!




STALKING MISS BARLOW
(24minute short)

USA, 2014
Director: Derek Huey

6,5/10










"Stalking Miss Barlow" is more or less a companion piece to last year's silly-but-amusing indie feature "Conjoined", written and directed by "Conjoined"-producer Derek Huey, starring Keefer Barlow, main actress in "Conjoined". The short follows a burned out indy actress who gets stalked by an unattractive, annoying individual, as well as a motorcycle-helmet-wearing maniac (straight outta "Night School") who kills all of her friends colleagues.


It's a fun little flick, full of really decent performances (Dan Braverman, John Dalbosco), cool kills, effective pieces of music and a couple of hilarious lines ("Christ in a fucking cartwheel!"). Direction is solid, camera and makeup/gore effects look excellent. It might be a tad too long and I thought that the performance of Barlow (basically a good actress) is way too over-the-top, way too annoying,
but overall, I dug it.

1 comment:

  1. These do sound good - I'm just so terrible at investing the time to watch - hate watching anything longer than a minute or so on the computer.

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