Horror

Shorts on Shorts: #1 Contact (11 minutes)

Synopsis: An unsettling insight into the drug induced experiences of two lovers

My Take

Contact

Utilising a mixture of stark monochrome textures, striking visual effects and an industrial strength score, Contact is as unsettling a 10 minutes of cinema as I have seen this year. It is, in it’s simplest form, a shared journey through the various stages of a hallucinogenic trip shared by two lovers. And while this experience begins as one of elation and chemical romance, it quickly spirals into a viscerally disturbing nightmare. All book-ended by an ambiguous family dinner setting that makes comment on the comfort of familiarity.

Given what I can imagine would be an appropriately modest budget for a film of this length the quality of it’s effects, composition and it’s central cast are excellent. In particular Zoë Daelman Chlanda who exudes a sense of adolescent naivety and misguided wonderment as she is Sherpa’d into her chemically induced nightmare. It is in that moment, as the couple’s paranoia and fear rapidly takes a 90 degree turn down a path of hellish imagery that the effects come into their own. Looked at in detail they are relatively simplistic, like a cross between a Chinese finger trap and the Human Centipede. The use of black and white film, a twitchy camera and a series of quick cuts though help mask any physical signs of the low budget that may have otherwise dulled the impact of that moment.

You can see the film in it’s entirety here http://kippfilms.com/contactfilm.html

Conclusion: I am generally not a fan of short films. Not for any other reason than I struggle to invest in them due to their reduced running time. That is a fault of mine as opposed to the medium or it’s creators. With Contact though I found myself engrossed and captivated for the full running time, and not once did I clock watch. It’s nice to be genuinely surprised once in a while.

Verdict: 8/10

Director: Jeremiah Kipp

Special Effects: Daniel J. Mazikowski

Cast: Zoe Daelman Chlanda, Robb Leigh Davis, Katherine O’Sullivan, Tom Reid, Danny Lopes and Alan Rowe Kelly

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