Dir. Gigi Saul Guerrero (Canadian Premiere)
Synopsis: The film follows the lone survivor (Mathias Retamal) of a disaster as he awakens on a deserted beach. It becomes clear that there are more dangers lurking in the woods than a hungry beast.
The film is not gory. Yet there is a sense of tension, as we quickly realise there’s danger lurking in the background at all times. We see the lone man confused and panicking at not knowing what has happened nor what may come next. All that is certain is that he is in danger, so he must make a move. Great work here by Ratamal in conveying the sense of confusion and panic during the entire the film. Towards the end, we see there may only be one possible outcome.
Good production value as is known of all LuchaGore productions. As mentioned, good acting by Retamal throughout. There is also good use of location and just enough cues to establish this deserted place. The sound design also works really well in adding to the tension and terror that drive this story.
Guerrero has a certain style that we see in all her films. This one is no different. As always she is able to convey all elements of terror, panic, confusion, and tension in the right amount of time. Looking forward to seeing her next production sometime soon… perhaps a feature at BITS next year? Time will tell.
Behind The Curtain
Dir. Tyler A. Williams (Canadian Premiere)
Synopsis: Sensing a strange presence, Lauren awakes to a seemingly empty home. A record spins on the record player, where she finds a weird residue — who or what turned on the record the player? She locks the door and goes back to the living room. We hear humming in the background; is this ‘creature’ singing? All feels eerie as this point. There is banging. She starts to hum as she sees the terrifying figure lurking behind the curtains; knife in hand.
This is not a new story, but it is executed well. There is enough sense of fear through the entire film. We see enough to know Lauren is really not alone at home. Creepy indeed. As she realises that this creature is not leaving her alone, she decides not to succumb to her fear, and chooses to confront the creature.
Another film that delivers on all fronts. Good production value. Good use of sound effects and visual cueing. A story that is contained in one space, and keeps the audience engaged from beginning to end. Williams is no stranger to BITS, and his film at last year’s festival also delivered by being short and to the point. He knows how to use location, sound, and visuals. Another filmmaker whose future works I am curious about.
Often we are scared by what we cannot see. These two shorts clearly create the right amount of tension and fright. Both Guerrero and Tyler know how to use sound and location as elements that drive the plot. Good selection at this year’s BITS Short Film Showcase, which screens Saturday, November 25th, 7pm at the Royal Cinema.
For more details on the showcase, or to purchase tickets, please visit bloodinthesnow.ca.