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The Crowning

by Cinetrance

In 1950's New Zealand, a pregnant woman visits a local hospital and uncovers a big secret.


God damnit, this was an absolute treat to watch. Believably historic, fantastic lens-choices and focus-work, ingenious visual effects, a whole cast of excellent actors, a beautiful location, a superb original score... need I go on? Likely to see it again in the national finals. However I wish there had been an opportunity to reveal the full spectacle of the monster towards the end, and I think the gruesome twist was a bit lightweight for the impressive level of suspense that the rest of the film had built up. Still, another wonderful film from the very-dependable Cinetrance. Well done!

WHOA. what a stunning looking film. Out the gate gorgeous. Location - grade - compositions - lighting... absolutely head and shoulders above anything I've seen in the comp this year or any year to memory.
The actors committed and executed to perfection.

It felt big budget and I can't comprehend how this was achieved in a 48hour weekend.

Story wise was to me the weak element and perhaps I missed something. But without much driving the story, it cast a shadow on the other elements.

For close to a decade we have watched Cinetrance almost stick the landing. Having a full production team, costume, AD’s, composers, editors, caterers and a dedicated camera crew is a losing strategy in this competition. All 500 other entrants have accepted that a full production is impossible in 48 hours. But not Dan Lynch.

“Brian”, their last film in 2022 was a clear sign they would one day figure out how to pull it off.

Now, for the first time in 48 hours history we have the full hog on display. A period piece, sexy nurses, anamorphic flares, rich sound, impeccable VFX, costumes, dark brooding performances, ATMOSPHERE! Truely raising the bar for what is possible in a 48 hour film.

A visual splendour, and heartfelt story in cinematic mastery, with a twist.


An unwell women has been taken to a facility by a caring neighbour in hopes it would be a safe delivery but curiosity has lead this women to something she was not expecting...

Production value is next level.

What an entrance cinetrance has made this year. See what I did there.

Beautiful establishing shot.
Soon after, a heavy thud to introduce the dark and mysterious, fantasy like tone. The orchestral score was something out of a feature...

Just from pan out when she is in the waiting room you could tell that the choice of shots were neatly hand picked. However, the match cut could of been done better if the continuity was right, it just did not sit well.

I would definitely praise whoever graded the film... it was consistent to a T.

Act 2 started vamped up with the tone in the score and a phone ringing, this is where the film guides us to the unknown and then were put back on our feet with no score and just ambience. Suddenly,BOOM. RAWR.


All the signs start to show. But much like the audience, we're just like a cat. Curious.

Full tucked into my chair I was prepared for the worse, and golly was I not dissapointed. What seemed so unraveling and heartwarming turned to pure absurdity in seconds. What a hook, I suppose monsters will be monsters.

and If I'm not wrong the "exit :was... the gory part. incredible.

Well done Cinetrance.


RS Productions.

Sweet baby Jebus! Beautifully shot and directed with what has to be the most ambitious period piece ever attempted in the comp. Stunning production and cinematography. storywise I was a little lost in terms of the monster. It became clearer with the end low angles and subsequent title gag. Almost the complete polished package, I just wish this had resolved a little more in the tone of the rest of the film. Bloody epic though guys!

Great production values and the amount of preparation this team must have done was immense.
Their film builds well, with great costumes, set design, and storytelling through the first two acts.
The ending is unexpected and (intentionally) jarring.
A Wellington finalist.

This film is pretty insane.

Location, costumes, gear, vehicles, the skills of a huge cast and crew - insane. More then ever (& this is true of CHCH this year too) there's a real obvious growing gap between the haves and have-nots in this comp. Shrugging one's shoulders and putting that aside though, this is such a highly polished short film that is so engaging throughout and instantly rewatchable. Incredibly well-paced, we feel a growing sense of dread that leads to some tender moments and then wraps up with something unexpected. The ending does cheapen everything just a little and can come across as pretty comical. That would be my only criticism apart from the light switches being to modern!

The very definition of "How did they do all of that in 48HRS?" Surely a Wellington and National finalist. Surely.

An exquisitely shot period piece in a hospital where a heavily pregnant women patiently and dutifully awaits her waters to kick in, this had a sensational golden glow that takes the viewers back to the days of analog radio and rolling up the sleeves.

Not a support person in sight with Mr. Smith no doubt off at the races or bar ready to celebrate the good news with a cigar and a beer. This film tells a lot to us the viewer with what is absent as much as what is present.

So when things start developing like a neighbour not being well or a creak heard down the hall we start to feel a hint of unease as we're all onside for the mother to be to courageously deliver the child. The lead actress's performance is subtle but strong.

And then the shit hits the fan, as a reverse Frankenstein takes centre stage and delivers a jaw dropping exit for the film's conclusion.

A hard one for me to review because technically its superb; the location, the costuming, the sound, the edit, the grade, the performances, the use of elements...BUT (and I'll be pc here) I personally hated the ending. I thought that the film that had so wonderfully earned its stripes just went for a grotesque shocker to truly ram home the monster element.

And yet that's just me; it's arguably a fantastic utilisation of a required competition element and I can't shower a film with praise for its first 4 and a half minutes being so good and say that the ending spoiled it. Because writing this up makes me think of how much of an achievement it was to have such a tight proper short production humming here.

Personally I'd have had you probably winning Wellington with a different ending. It will be interesting to see how it goes with what was shot here though. Great work as usual Cinetrance.

Cinetrance always lifts the bar on what can be expected from a film made in 48HRS, and this was no exception. Great story with a slow start that has a BANG of an ending - aided by a fantastic use of light, shadow and camera-work to sell the end scene. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and my god the mise-en-scene was perfect, but my only critical note is that it would've been great to learn a bit more about the main character during the opening few minutes. I felt a little disconnected from her, which limited the impact of the scary and lonely world that she was surrounded by. The ending made me gasp and laugh at the same time, so that's a win in my book!

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