7.3/10
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4 user 1 critic

Nobody But Her (2010)

The terrifying story of 8-year old Greta and her abusive grandmother. After her grandmother's strange death, two detectives work to unravel the mystery by questioning the young girl, leading them to the shocking truth.

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Greta
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Dustin Dare ...
Crime Scene Investigator
Richard Folmer ...
Detective Barnes
Scott Gannon Patton ...
Detective Silva
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The terrifying story of 8-year old Greta and her abusive grandmother. After her grandmother's strange death, two detectives work to unravel the mystery by questioning the young girl, leading them to the shocking truth.

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3 June 2011 (USA)  »

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Nobody But Her first class horror short
13 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Director Philip Jordan Brooks' film, "Nobody But Her," is a well-crafted seven-minute horror short that has been nominated and winning awards in festivals from New York City to San Antonio, Texas. That is with good reason. "Nobody But Her" is a well-told cinematic short story. The filmmaker is like a writer focusing on brevity without benefit of a novel's expansiveness. Get to the point. As "Nobody But Her" opens, a dying old woman is seen crawling across a floor. She stops and points upward. In two quick shots, the viewer first sees a caged blackbird, then a pair of dangling young feet wearing red tennis shoes. Then comes a scene of a mist hovering over a lake, followed by a pastoral scene of a horse cropping grass in a meadow-like setting. In those first couple of minutes, Brooks has painted a picture of death contrasted by a bucolic, benign setting and offered viewers two symbols, the bird and the shoes, one we identify as a harbinger of death, and the other innocent and seemingly out of place. What then unfolds, as two detectives and a crime scene unit investigate, is a tale with a supernatural twist that will surprise some and have others immediately trying to read more into visual symbols for some deeper meaning. Whichever way the viewer chooses, director Brooks has given them a neat little chiller that may have nothing more on its mind than offering a shock. The two detectives discover a little girl sitting at the kitchen table. She appears to be catatonic and is wearing a pair of red tennis shoes. The older detective (Richard Folmer) has misgivings and believes there is something not right about the girl, who has yet to speak. The younger one (Scott Gannon Patton) has empathy for the child (Leah Thompson) and tries coaxing her to talk. He succeeds, and in a dead voice, the child relates that the dead woman is her grandmother and was cruel to her. A policeman pulls the older detective away to see a discovery that has been made in the backyard; the younger one continues to interview the child about the unloving relationship. Here, director Brooks does a clever job of juxtaposition as the viewer sees what is happening in exterior and interior scenes. And therein lies a nasty surprise. The short film is a challenge to the director, requiring economy and conciseness. Brooks has been immeasurably helped by the excellent camera-work of Chris Lyon, who also did a fine job of editing the film, and the three principal performances – Folmer's skeptical detective, Patton's understanding one and juvenile Thompson's understated young girl. Mention should also be made of Wade Marshall's original music score that certainly helps create the mood and the quiet sense of foreboding. Brooks' focus is admirable. There are no extraneous shots to take away from the ongoing action. It would be easy to become overly clever with a tale such as this one that can become a pitfall for young directors. Brooks, with a good sense of composition, has a grasp of this short form, and he cleanly delivers the goods. It will be interesting to see how his career develops if and when he moves out of the short form. Much is crammed into the seven minutes of "Nobody But Her." The tribute is, though, that it doesn't appear so.

LANE CROCKETT Former critic of the Gannett News Service and The Shreveport Times


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