Short Film Review: The Squatter (2019)

October 5, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

The Squatter begins with one of your poor, unfortunate soul types catching static from some hoodlums. What does our protagonist do to escape from that miscreant maelstrom? Why take shelter in ye olde shit shack of a pub.

Problem is, this beastly bar holds one of those sinister Satanic secrets that always leads to good ol’ bad vibes. Since our homeless hero has nowhere else to be, he stays… even though the truths he reveals about the eerie establishment put him balls deep in the horror biz. A beating by those aforementioned punks is lookin’ better and better, ain’t it?

The first thing that struck me about The Squatter is how much it had that Lovecraft aesthetic I adore like a mutant mother fucker! It’s the combo of the dreary coastal setting nestled under slate grey skies as well as that ancient evil mumbo jumbo that just reeks of ol’ H.P.; and that is one hell of a feat; this sinister short virtually drips atmosphere, dread, and arcane rites… and you know how yours cruelly laps that shit up like the horror hound I… and I’m wagering you cats n’ creeps… are!

Adding to the putrid positives is the fact that Dave Peniuk as the eponymous Squatter makes for a sympathetic and engaging lead that helps us follow the man into some dark territory… and actually care if he makes it out of the ordeal with his hide intact!

If there’s a negative to be had, it’s that I want to explore more of what writer/director Paul Whittington is laying down! There is a sense of world building and mythology on display that could definitely be expanded upon to give us one hell of a fearsome feature!

To sum this up; The Squatter is a moody dive into the wicked waters of creepy cults and cold environs, and it shouldn’t be missed… and guess what; because I linked to the short below you can check it out for yourselves!





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