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When a real horror turns into "Ninja Turtles"
Maybe the title of my review is an exaggeration but it's really how I felt after watching this film.
It starts very climatic and the story is simple yet solid. "Solid" is a good word to describe the first half of the film. It may resemble many other horrors from the past, but it did well in telling its own story at its own pace. Maybe it wasn't an icon to "the most scary is what you don't see" philosophy but it did well. Unfortunately something broke down along the way...
Such a great potential to make a good horror in the era of torture porn trash thrown away by the creators that gave up to the urge "to show more". Not only they shown too much, they can't even show it properly.
Pencil Face (2008)
This 3 minutes long film from SCAD shorts leaves you more stunned than many acclaimed cinematic movies of the last decade!
Most horrors and thrillers nowadays are just full-blown 'cliches' with both - predictable plot and what I call 'atmosphere spoilers'. Actually very few have something to spoil in the first place. Exceptions are really hard to find.
I would divide their weaknesses into 3 groups: 1. Constrained humorous (?) dialogs in the least appropriate moments. 2. Predictable. 3. (The most important) Lacking the ability to mirror even a fraction of basic human behaviors in the face of death. Or worse fear for that matter... (related to point 1). Three people are facing dangerous creature in the forest/basements. What is usually their brilliant idea? Oh, yes - 'Let's split.' A character being hunted by something is walking alone in the dark... backwards. A man facing a despicable horror is not stunned nor paralyzed a bit and he is able to freely say 'Oh, s*' with an expression more appropriate for crying after a failed exam. On top of that a music track more appropriate for Benny Hill chase scene. You get the idea.
Now, Pencil Face can't be an example of all of the above not happening because there's simply no darkness (per se) and no dumb teenagers. But it represents a certain BRAND of movies. A BRAND that you feel wouldn't allow any of the above happen if it had been a cinematic movie. A brand that guarantees an atmospheric, unreal and intelligent experience. If you ever see a movie poster with a 'From the creators of Pencil Face' and the ticket price is $50 don't hesitate - go see it!
Of course the brand itself it's not enough. Coming up with a story like that required a great deal of imagination for sure. Maybe even a slightly distorted but brilliant mind, who knows :) When I was watching it I had a feeling that I see someone's dream. That is strengthen by a certain...
Just don't miss it and it might be that this short film will be a start of your search for a completely new...something.