Reverb (Film Review)

ReverbImg2Reverb, a film directed Samantha Paradise, follows the story of a young woman, Helia, getting over a seemingly harsh break-up. If that makes this sound like a touching drama, then you’d be mistaken. This is a thriller/horror in every sense of the term as Helia’s ex, nicknamed Cupcake, can’t seem to leave things be, stalking her in her own house.

Many of the shots in the film are beautifully done, the sunrise shots and the nighttime shots are some of the highlights. They really used the dynamic lighting to their advantage. The contrast from light and darkness works out very well in these scenes. That being said, many of the daytime shots could have been better. The kitchen shots and some of the living room shots have flat lighting, which leaves the shot toneless, making it harder for the actor’s emotion to fully come through in a typical shot. It’s not the biggest flaw that could happen, but it might be the most glaring in this 15 minute short.

ReverbImg1The acting in this film is quite good, it has some flaws with delivery, but it is very good considering the majority of it is just Amy Frear. Frear lets the film rest squarely on her shoulders and does so quite well. The only other performance is from Brian Dunn, who has decent chemistry with Frear. The run-time is perfect, but the chemistry between the two could have used more time to blossom. It’s a common dilemma, let the movie run over what it should and build better relationships between characters or keep it short to the benefit of the film as a whole. The latter option did work out great here, but it could have been great to see some more interaction. Ugh, dilemma, dilemma.

The set design and costumes were great. The majority of the short has Frear in a tank top, frilly shorts and bunny slippers. It’s not laugh out loud funny, but funny in the sense that there’s a lot of chaos going on around her. The house looks like it is lived in by a young woman, which builds the realism for the film.

The short isn’t filled with unnecessary jump scares but uses sounds and music to build the tension, which is makes it scarier since the brain starts making up what possibly will happen next. The story is semi-predictable, but well done in the fifteen minute time frame. From beginning to end the short is quite good and it doesn’t dip in the 15 or so minutes. One of the biggest strengths of the film is that it feels like a snippet of Helia’s life. She clearly had done things before and the possibilities of the future are endless. This is a self contained story but the characters have a history.

Consensus: When watching short films there is never a guarantee if the 10 or so minutes is going to be good, but from the first couple of shots it is clear that Reverb is a step ahead of the run of the mill short horror film, and that’s what helps make this film succeed. It not a slam dunk, but a polished, well done film worth watching.

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Sinister (Re-review)

93026_galA struggling writer of true crime novels moves him and his family into a house where a grisly murder took place years before. He soon discovers a box filled with “home movies” which turn out to be videos of different families being murdered. He then starts to see some of the crazy things in his new house. Things that would make most men run away, far away.

Director Scott Derrickson really delivers at providing that audience with a good, violent and scary film. Derrickson was able to work with a low-budget and provide thrills throughout the film’s near 2 hour run time. Continue reading

Cary Elwes in SAW 3D

Ever since I saw the first Saw movie, I’ve been hooked with the franchise. I’ve even seen the short video that helped the creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan make the first full-length movie. For those of you who haven’t seen the first Saw movie, it’s about two men trapped in a bathroom by the Jigsaw Killer. The film stars Leigh Whannell and Cary Elwes. The reason its such a big deal that Cary Elwes is in the latest installment is that he refused to return in any of the last five movies.

Little is known about his return, but it has been speculated that he will either have a minor role in flashbacks, or be Jigsaw’s true apprentice. Which would seem ridiculous since he’s had about 5 apprentices. One week before Saw 3D comes out, expect a review of the whole series and then expect my review for SAW 3D soon afterward.

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Image of Cary Elwes found on Wikipedia.