Short Film Review: Girls Night

February 23, 2017

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

Halloween night is approaching and three young women, Alyson, Chloe and Jess. have decided that a night out among scores of people is not something they’re interested in. Instead they would rather have their own girls night in, enjoying food and drink, and each others company. As Alyson is preparing for this intimate gathering, a creepy masked stranger startles her while intrusively snooping around the kitchen window. Despite dropping and breaking a plate out of surprise, she will at least have an interesting story to share later. But as the evening wears on, and win is consumed, andtales of Bloody Mary are bandied about, the trio may find there is still more to the story where the masked stranger is concerned.
The story behind David Teixeira’s short film has a familiar tone, but is lacking some elements to drive the narrative and build suspense or fear. Also the concept of a horror story featuring a masked stranger and urban legends, that takes place on Halloween isn’t new. What really matters is the variations made to this pre-existing concept. And while I could see a decent framework, it still needed a bit of fleshing out. More of an effort needed to be made building tension towards the conclusion of the film, which still left me with some questions.
As far as the performances given by the trio of actresses, Alice Nazare, Liliana Garcia and Marina de Sousa, they came across very natural. Regardless of the fact I can’t speak French, these three young women didn’t seem so much like they were performing as much as being recorded while legitimately just hanging out on Halloween night. But when it came time for de Sousa, in the role of Jess, to display any genuine fear or terror, well…I was less than convinced. Now when it comes to the “masked creeper”, for whom there is no identifiable credit, I truly dug the incredibly eerie vibe this person brought to the character.
One visual aspect that really needs to be addressed, is that Teixeira needs to seriously ease up on the use of medium close-up and regular close up shots. It’s not a bad thing to open up the audience’s visual field, especially in a horror film. Open spaces, bathed in darkness and strewn with shadows, are invaluable to adding a much creepier milieu. Also, more visual cues to show the passage of time either through more quickly inter-cut footage and some creative editing would have been helpful. I really wasn’t sure how much time was supposed to have passed before things began to go awry for our girls.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad film, and Teixeira did a respectable job considering he wrote, produced, directed, shot and edited this movie all by his lonesome. But sometimes being the sole person responsible for a film’s production without anybody else to bounce ideas off of can have a detrimental effect creatively. And while there is a strong foundation, it could have used some tinkering. With a little reworking, I could definitely see this story as part of a horror anthology.  5 ½ / 10

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