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On a dark night, as the clock strikes eight, a mother sends her child upstairs to bed with only a candle for light. The child is wary, then frightened. The child hears something climbing the stairs. We see a birdlike man, his head like a crescent moon, stealthily then noisily approach the child's room. Mother appears to kiss the child good night. Has the sandman been a figment of the child's imagination? Then, he appears in the child's room and, as the child sleeps, leans over and takes something, leaps to the window, throws open the sash, and flies to a nest where two hungry fledglings cry. What has the sandman brought them? Written by
A wonderfully Gothic short film with a healthy dose of childhood horror a la the brothers Grimm
In a quiet town, in a dark house, a young boy playing with his drum is sent to bed at the top of the long stairs. With only a candle for light the boy is a bit scared and thinks he sees all many of things in the shadows and that every noise is sinister. As chance would have it though, he may not be wrong as, unseen by him, a character may be trying to get to him in his room with sinister motives but is the Sandman real or is it all in the boy's overactive imagination.
Everyone knows that the Nightmare Before Christmas was a Tim Burton film, but not enough credit is given to the animator Paul Berry who was responsible for the unique Gothic feel given to the stop motion characters and the film as a whole and it is in this short film that he shows his worth. The story is a simple horror tale told in the style of a brief Gothic poem; the plot is simple and does keep the tension up and the ending is shocking in its simplicity but parents will want to vet it before children watch it as it does end with some images of the sort that tend to linger in the mind and may cause some serious nightmares.
The animation is brilliant; although it lacks the budget (and hence gloss) of Nightmare but it is no less stylish and imaginative for it. Like I say, it is atmospheric and the ending is memorable and pretty creepy even for me. Since Berry's unfortunate death in 2001, we will not see any more work from him but with both this and Nightmare, he showed his eye, his talent and his imagination in a way that deserves and receives recognition. A great little short that everyone that watched Nightmare should make the effort to track down.
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