In a remote snowed in cabin, a family lives in turmoil. The patriarch of the clan is an alcoholic abusive sumbitch, his wife has been cowed into quivering complacency, and his son…well beside being a human punching bag, is seriously infatuated with lions. In a night packed fat with violent news broadcasts and cheap beer, our antagonist is visited by an impossible (an impossibly violent) four legged visitor that proceeds to set right that which is wrong.
At twelve minutes (well ten minutes plus credits); Lion is a tight lil’ fright flick, with a very unique spin on the ‘tormented child calls upon seemingly supernatural revenge’ trope. Well shot and acted, with strong visual effects for the titular beast, and a great sense of taut violence waiting to explode at a moments notice the film packs a real punch.
The only negative I had with this was the usage of some ultra-dodgy CG to realize the exterior shots of the cabin…a real head scratcher due to the fact that you’d think a cabin in the woods would be easy to find (hell, every bargain basement slasher flick pulls this off no problem) and the strength of the imagery used to realize the creature.
All in all, Lion is a winner and comes highly recommended…especially if you love seeing prize winning dicks receiving a new asshole at the savage claws of a marauding beast!
For more on Lion, head here!
In Beyond Repair, a young woman drives headlong through the inky black night searching for that one thing that all human hearts desire…a decent place to take a piss while travelling where hopefully you won’t end up sliced and diced six ways to Sunday. Well after searching in vain, our heroine finds a creepy garage, staffed by an even creepier mechanic but beggars can’t be choosers so she does the deed and is immediately menaced by the woman in the next stall…a bloody creature that has definitely seen better days.
Packed with fantastic atmosphere and dealing with a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another (are we ever as vulnerable as when we are on the ol’ throne boils n’ ghouls?) this is an expertly crafted short. The acting is on point, the ghoul’s make-up is simple but effective, and the vibe brings to mind the aesthetic of the similarly themed Carnival of Souls (not bad company to be in).
Normally I’d throw in a few negatives here, but I really came up empty on this one folks…this one just works.
Full of great twists, plenty of suspense, and a gaggle of ghastly ghouls; Beyond Repair is one hell of a fun fright flick (in marvelous miniature)…seek it out!
Nite Nite is a tale featuring that hoary ol’ chestnut; the kid that just won’t go to sleep for fear the monster in his closet will spirit him away to some darkened nether world. Well, needless to say his babysitter isn’t going for this (but to her credit she gamely plays along instead of being the normal bitch on wheels we usually encounter in these things). There is of course a twist, and I bet you can see it comin’ from frame one.
I’m gonna shake things up and start with this flick’s biggest problem, and that’s that we’ve seen this type of thing before. The ‘monster in the closet is real’ trope has been featured in plenty of fright flicks (most notably in 1986’s ultra-campy Monster in the Closet). Now is that a complete killer for the enjoyment one can have with this film? I’d have to say ‘no’. While it is a cliche for sure, the way the material is presented is well done, with it’s biggest asset leading us to…
The acting in this short is really, really strong. Tommie Vegas plays the exact opposite of what you may expect; she’s a caring, good-natured, likable babysitter who seems to genuinely care for her young charge. and speaking of this kid; Brady Bond should get an award for being something so rare I almost can’t believe I witnessed it…he’s a kid in horror flick you don’t want to see get offed immediately. He’s earnest, genuine in his fear, and again…likable. Seriously great cast in this one my creeps.
My only other gripe is one of personal taste…I love monsters, and wanted to see the full monster monty on display instead of the next to nothing that we get. To be fair, I know creatures = dollars, and this was a crowd funded short film, but if these folks do another go in the horror biz please show us the beastie, okay?
I’d recommend Nite Nite on the strength of the acting alone, and I’m anxious to see what these film makers could do with a stronger concept.