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Dark, funny, engaging entertainment!

Author: Miss Scarlet
15 September 2002

Imagine the scene. A dark office, late at night. Six terrified hostages in a corner, one dead. A crazed captor with a gun, but who is calling the shots? The Puppet of course. In this case, the puppet is a grotesque foetus-like creature nestling on the hand of the main character, Neil, played brilliantly by Ned Dennehy. In this captivating and commercially styled short film, we are engaged totally by the struggle of power and control of the situation between the man, Neil, who is good and the dominant and psychotic character of Morgan the puppet. I was amazed that despite the film being so short at around eight minutes and also low budget, it has a quality to it born of several factors. The production value is high, the mood of the piece is dark and the camera work and editing slickly styled to make the most of every second. The moody original soundtrack (by composer Liam Bates) is excellent, setting the pace and increasing the tension of the film. More than anything else, the performance and direction of the main character(s) of Neil and the puppet Morgan is what draws you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat for eight sweet dark minutes. It is almost as if Ned Dennehy was two people, Neil's character is so weak and stuttering, whereas Morgan barks orders in a demonic little voice that has the audience nervously shifting in their seats at this bizarre spectacle. Morgan seems the personification of Neil's frustrated anger at his seeming isolation. This is all the more emphasised by the intriguing title graphic sequence showing Neil standing aloof at office parties, always the loner. Morgan is the tragic result of of the loner office worker pushed too far over the edge by the inhumanity of the corporate world. This second short film from Irish director Ciaran Foy shows continuity and tremendous ability with both actors and the camera. It is a must- see. Check it out at Sitges Film Festival 2002 and also at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, both in October.

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