Interesting story told with good pacing and energy
Halloween means the office, the front door, and the weekend parties all become overwhelmed with seasonal 'cheer' and activities, and online short film outlets like Vimeo are not really any different; so in that week it was hard to browse without finding a lot of material which is horror or chiller in nature. This week though a film doing well online is horror-related, but actually about one that never really got seen. This documentary is the story of Rolfe Kanefsky, who as a teenager in 1990, got the money together to make a horror film which was one of the first to have a post-modern approach as one of the characters knows the horror genre inside out, and using the rules of the genre to know what is going on around them.
If this sounds like the Scream series, then you are right there are certainly connections between Rolfe's film, and the one attributed with being the first post-modern horror movie. There is a story behind that, and it is one that Lyne's film tells (carefully it must be said, lawyers are watching). It is not a twisty turny tale, but it is one that will connect with those involved in the industry – those working on good ideas that just don't seem to take off, while they do for others (hell, even the online community will have some connection to this as how many original Reddit posts do nothing but then are reposted by a well-known account and go directly to the front page?). This aspect of the story makes this short documentary interesting, even if there is not quite a big strong ending awaiting you.
The manner of delivery takes a second to get used to, but it is actually the driving force behind the film. The narration is done by both parties – not overlapping, but complementing and semi-finishing or triggering each other's sentences, even though it doesn't sound like it happened that way so much as it occurred in the editing suite. This narration gives the film a good pace and keeps it moving, while Rolfe himself is an engaging voice to listen to. The use of stock footage is mostly good underneath, although at times it distracts and seems to be used to fill, but it does make a nice change from the usual talking heads shot.
An interesting little industry and personal documentary, which has good pace and cultural information for the casual viewer, but will probably work best with those working on creative projects and struggling to get traction.
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