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Max

by Cyan Sea

Reviews

Straight goosebumps -Timing is difficult for a short horror but you did a great job team!

Good lord I do love me some eyeball fetishism to start a horror film. It immediately makes me feel giddily nostalgiac for 70s and 80s European cinema designed to give you chills. In fact, this had many notes from the three Italian masters of the macabre. From Bava, through our haunted female protagonist, but then let's not forget Argento with the deep red hues as the tension ramped up, and my favourite Fulci with the aformentioned deep focused start on a contact lense going into an eye with great precision.

But Cyan Sea were not just out to pay homage, in fact I feel there intention was not homage at all but a more intimate exploration of PTSD and psychosis. This was about a woman who was cared for, who had felt love, and who needed love, but a troubled past put strain on her reality and sanity.

Other than the strong performance by the lead actress, I have jotted down that I felt the edit was particularly strong here. Troubles started smaller in scale and snowballed as stress levels rose and the stakes were elevated. An unwelcomed hand on the shoulder and a misheard word leads to things such as mistaken identities and ultimately consumption by trauma.

What I also liked was the consistent tone you chose, and how you went for it guns blazing, delivering a rare well done serious 48 hours film. Even a misplaced face on a date didn't feel out of place, for example, due to your sure hand, whereas I could have easily seen other teams having that play as comedy whether intentional or not. Yours didn't.

From a technical point of view other than the edit I thought it was a particularly nice touch gradually raising the music levels from woah to go, mirroring the dramatic arc.

In terms of what could have been done better for the film, initially I absolutely hated the ending of the film. It felt really stabby, cold, predictable and bleak and was exactly what I had hoped not see given your marvelous work up to that point. HOWEVER I think the final shot might have saved it and brought things round by showing how sometimes we let trauma consume us to the point that we become the thing we hate the most. Still a little bit on the fence though.

The next thing is that despite the wonderful camerawork and lighting flourishes, I found a decent portion of the film's locations to be a tad plain. But again this allowed a laser focus on the inner turmoil of your lead for us as viewers so more of an observation than a criticism.

Lastly would be the show don't tell approach for the past events. I think it was incredibly clear just what had happened myself and applaud you for tackling such a subject area, but there may be some who miss crucial details if they hadn't paid attention as some key information was provided in singular great shots, I felt.

Overall though, a tensely built horror film that invoked a feeling of claustrophbia by the time we got to the 3rd act of the film. Impressive work.

Story: 3.5/5
Technical: 4/5
Elements: 4/4
Overall: 4/5

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