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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Sean Kelly

BITS 2014: Pre-Feature Shorts

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Here is my rundown of the eight shorts that preceded the features at this year’s Blood in the Snow Film Festival.

Serpent’s Lullaby
A woman in a century’s old mansion makes a decision that will change the course of her story.  Serpent’s Lullaby is a short that focuses on a certain mythological figure.  While it’s a bit of a spoiler to reveal exactly who this figure is, it is something that can easily be figured out within the first few minutes.  Serpant’s Lullaby is a quite well-produced short, with some great production design and a haunting narrative.  What started off as an idea for the ABCs of Death 2 contest has turned into a quite well done little story.
 9 | REALLY LIKED IT

The Table
A woman is treated like a slave for a man and things get complicated when another man enters looking for employment.  At first glance The Table is a somewhat hard to watch film, since it is using the abuse and degradation of women for its horror.  Undoubtedly, this is not a short that would be particularly enjoyed by feminists.  However, there is a enough in this short, particularly the final shot, to suggest that things are not as abusive as they appear.  This short’s not for everyone, but it does ask some interesting questions about how far you are willing to go for $200.
7 | FAIR 

Uncommon Enemies
Playing at Blood in the Snow as a special presentation, I originally saw Uncommon Enemies when it played last March as part of the Canadian Film Fest.  In summary, it’s a pretty fun film to watch.
8 | LIKED IT

O Come All Ye Zombies
A family of zombies gather together for Christmas dinner.  O Come All Ye Zombies is a pretty fun comedic twist on zombie lore, as this family of zombies gather together to eat a their festive feast of a human who’s not quite dead.  There is a pretty hilarious recurring gag, involving a certain body part preferred by one of the zombies, which ends up playing a big role in resolving the central conflict.  This is definitely a fun and festive short.
 9 | REALLY LIKED IT

No Pets Allowed
After being traumatized by the cruel way her father treated animals, Rebecca has begun amassing a unique breed of pet.  I am going to be very frank and say that I did not like No Pets Allowed at all.  On a technical level, the film is very amateurish, with a pretty bad sound mix and the same generic horror score repeating over and over again.  As for the plot, it seemed that No Pets Allowed was going for a high shock value, which somewhat reminded me of John Water’s Pink Flamingos, which is another film I did not respond too well to.  Let’s just say that I was quite happy when this one was over.
2 | REALLY DISLIKED IT

Trick or Treat
A group of people get ready for Halloween, including a man battling loneliness.  Trick or Treat is a dialogue free Halloween-based short, which centres somewhat on one of the most prolific urban legends surrounding the holiday.  It does take a while to piece together what is going on, even though it does result in a somewhat dark ending.  Overall, it’s an OK enough short.
7 | FAIR 

The Resurrections of Clarence Neveldine
A girl named Lucy has to cope will a killer named Clarence Neveldine, who keeps coming back to life every single year.  The Resurrections of Clarence Neveldine is a film that breaks down the tropes of slasher films, particularly the concept of the final girl, who is doomed to relive the terror year in and year out.  This short is very obviously inspired by John Carpenter’s Halloween, with Neveldine being seen wearing a Michael Myers-like mask and Robert Nolan showing up for a memorable appearance as a very crazed Loomis-like character.  Ultimately, this is pretty smart short, with a very interesting twist towards the end.
8 | LIKED IT

Domestic Blood
Sara reveals to John a big secret about herself.  Domestic Blood is a simple, yet enjoyable, short, which plays with the concept that you don’t truly know everything about your significant other.  The entire short is just the conversation between John and Sara in a single location, though it does feature an interesting melding of domestic issues with a horror concept.  Overall, this short was pretty well done.
8 | LIKED IT

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).