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Somebody Someone Mythros

5 Reviews

Reviews

Steve and Friends

I must be a sucker for weird and wonderful short films, because this one's eccentricity really tickled my fancy. It felt as though the team thought, "Mistake identity. Huh... you know what? Let's completely screw with everyone who has ever thought they knew something about this genre". Steve and Friends was the most in-depth deconstruction and satirisation of a genre I've seen at a 48 Hours heat (although, to be fair, I've only been to two heats, being a newbie). The way such a ridiculously low-stakes example of stolen identity was played with conviction and malice aforethought was an inspired turn. Kudos for the puppets behind the chair, by the way, as characters they aided the plot and feel of Steve's emotional arc while not detracting when they weren't needed and providing brilliant comic relief. Negative points: few but they still exist. The puppetry suffered somewhat from a lack of strong voice acting. The "voice" part of voice acting doesn't mean you get away with not having to show expression, it means you are limited to being able to act with ONLY one part of the actor's physical toolkit, which makes it even harder to be believable. Some issues with colour grading also, as I felt it was far too saturated in orange the entire time and could have benefited from contrasting colour schemes between the sanity and insanity portions of the film. As I said, this must just be my personal cup of tea, because others in my team's viewing entourage said they absolutely hated it. Fair enough, and I see where that view comes from, but I think if you truly get this film for the deconstructive, pseudo-surrealist masterpiece it is, there are endless delights. Good job guys, near-perfect marks :)

The Hand That Feeds

Horror is not the same thing as torture porn. Granted, this never went to the heights of Saw or similar in that regard, but it certainly felt to be at that level simply because the gore was unmerited, unwarranted and unjustified by the story. I think I got that there was somehow cursed bread that passed something-or-other else on that makes you... become like an American diner waitress who spits in the food of a rude customer that doesn't tip..? I may have to re-watch, but on first impression it certainly felt like there was a complete lack of cogent explanation for either the cursed bread or the dastardly motivations behind the evil hobo. Even given that such explanations exist upon closer inspection, I don't want to care more about the side-character's impending wedding than whether the main chick cuts her finger off after failing to realise we have knives for bread already -- they're called bread knives, helpfully, and they are serrated. I know horror is especially difficult to pull off. It's like comedy, either the audience reacts viscerally or they don't. It has its own set conventions of genre developed over the last ninety plus years, and they must be either adhered to or subverted. Isolation, Final Girl, the House, and the Monster (physical or otherwise), to name a few. Conventions are important to horror perhaps more than any other genre because they work together to ramp up the tension as the audience is familiar with the narrative already and this gives them a sense of anticipation. Gore is the icing on the horror cake, tension+release generated by the conventions being the cake itself. You can't have icing without a cake, because if you do you'll get diabetes. Which has nothing to do with cinema, granted, but... alright back on track. You don't want to do a horror without knowing the conventions inside out. This short film lacked a Final Girl (the hobo, maybe?), proper Isolation, only used the House as a means to having a viable setting, and the Monster (definitely the evil hobo) lacked any real menace.

Hide and Seek

This was a thoroughly confusing film. The genre "Mystery" seems to evoke a darker side to narrative, but this short film made me laugh without feeling curiosity or tension as to what the mystery was at any point. I ended up deciding that it was going for a clever approach to mystery whereby it was instead a comedy-mystery hybrid. But then I realised with dawning horror that the mother spouting various iterations of "They've got Jack!" (or something to that effect), with all the conviction of a teaspoon, was meant to provide mounting tension. The actors were all trying to be serious, over-compensating somewhat with the swearing which didn't fit into the dialogue at all, and we were supposed to be curious/dread-filled as to where this child has gone. Instead, I and most of the people sitting next to me were laughing during these moments of 'tension'. If you're going for traditional narrative structure with a beginning, middle and end (even within only seven minutes allotted), you have to get the audience to give a damn about the characters. This is such an important part of developing story that TV Tropes calls the audience reaction "I don't care what happens to these people" the Eight Deadly Words (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EightDeadlyWords). Now, I began by saying this was a thoroughly confusing film. Not because of a hard-to-follow story (in fact, parts like the ransom drop-off complete with car headlights were painfully overdone), but because I began it thinking it was a new breed of parody comic mystery, and sunk down in confusion at the realisation it was meant to be serious. Sorry, I'm being very negative here... so, ahem, for good points: nice use of the match-cut -- it certainly tied the ending up. I liked the natural lighting for the picnic scenes too, it gave a good familial feel. From what I gather in the comments, this team are veterans, so I'm sure you'll know what to improve on next year and how to digest criticism, and I guess that's a good point too.