Okie doke, this is my inaugural short film review, so if it’s short, it’s probably precisely for that reason!
Lowdown: A young boy hides in the closet from a pair of menacing strangers who have invaded his house with murder on their minds.
When it comes to putting together a short film of any genre, a director needs to be completely economic and wise with every single resource they have. A limited budget can either be a fantastic motivational tool for the crew or a tremendous setback which can make or break the final product.
I would like to be honest here- there nothing particularly stand out about the performances in this short. None of the actors were bad by any stretch of the imagination, but I did not feel they were one of ‘Daniel’s strengths. Although I didn’t assume the characters were meant to be at the forefront of the film, nobody made an impression on me that will make me say to myself “That actor was amazing”. However, who knows? If this film were ever expanded beyond it’s extremely compact three minute running time with more emphasis on the characters, it would sing a very different tune.
What truly works in the shorts’ favour though is the very simple yet clever concept. Although the ultimate conclusion is very straight forward, a film that feels confident in itself is able to deliver crucial plot reveals with ease, and that is what “Daniel” does. Again, a limited budget is a mighty force for any short film maker but what truly makes a film work is the concept involved. In fact, I feel that is what director Peter Dukes truly wanted to convey- a strong and intriguing idea being done with ingenuity and that is precisely what we get. I was left feeling quite admirable towards Dukes’ directorial style, his means of engineering the story-telling and the direct pacing of the film. I hope in the future we see his work evolve and and continue to nurture the old adage that sometimes less is more is de riguer when it comes to making truly effective horror features. As it stands though, ‘Daniel’ is a worthy genesis of a worthy talent.
Review written by Bea Harper
For info on the film please visit http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3818782/reference