Thursday, May 22, 2014

Black Spot - the 2D version

A few months ago, independent film maker Luther Bhogal-Jones, who directed the entertaining independent short film Creak, sent me an e-mail during my hiatus about his new short film Black Spot. Having reviewed Creak in the previous iteration of the blog and rather enjoying it, I figured I'd check out this new film Mr. Jones had done.

Meant as a test in his abilities in filming a short in 3D and deliberately going for a very simplistic and trashy 70's feel (as stated by the films description included with the film). I knew it'll be right up my alley as I love these types of horror films, as I find simplicity tends to have a special charm to it in horror. Unfortunately, I had to view the film in 2D instead of the intended 3D format, as it takes the red and blue 3D glasses, which I don't have.

The story of this short film (which has a running length of around five and a half minutes) revolves an un-named man whose car had broken down and is forced to walk to find someone who can help. It had just recently been raining and, as chance (or fate) would have it, he is out in the middle of nowhere. After an undetermined amount of time, he stumbles upon another car which, by the look of things, is also broken down. As he looks inside, he sees that there is a dead body in the back seat.

I will go no further into the plot, as I'll be providing a link to the film at the end of my review for those of you who are reading and will like to see the film for yourselves.

Store-wise, the film is very simplistic and while it feels almost familiar, I believe that the story is not the key point of this film. It's more about atmosphere and build up, and as stated before, meant as a venture into 3D film making.

One thing that I noticed about this film almost right off, is that other than a single line of dialog, there was not a single word uttered in the film. Whether it be typical "oh my god!!" type of line, to a series of obscenities typically associated with the horror genre. I liked this aspect of the film and thought it was a nice touch. I'm not sure Mr. Jones intended the film to have no dialog for the purpose of purely focusing on the 3D, to create a certain atmosphere, or both; either way it worked here.

I loved the gloomy tone of isolation this film had. If it's one thing Mr. Jones can pull off, it's definitely having a great atmosphere that this particular darkling can enjoy. I loved the freshly rained out look the entire film had and couldn't help but to enjoy the filming from beginning to end, even if I couldn't see the actual 3D.

I also loved the choice of actors as well. Everybody played their parts fantastically. While parts felt as though they were overacted, I think for a film such as this, which felt as though it was harking back to the silent film era (which I believe was a great period for horror), the overacting achieved what is set out to do and didn't feel completely goofy or forced. The acting was spot on, and only helped us understanding the emotions without trudging through dialog for the sake of conversation.

I strongly recommend viewing this film, even if it's in 2D as I have. Watch the film, turn out the lights and just absorb it, it's well worth the five and a half minutes. If you would like to see it, check the following links:

For the 2D version, click HERE

For the 3D version (which, as stated before, require the classic red and blue 3D glasses), click HERE

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My take on being of the darlky inclined mindset

Over the past number of months of my absence from the web, I couldn't help but to think about how much I missed writing. I wanted to get back to it, only to have all my concentration have a laser focus on moving myself towards productive future that unfortunately forced me to have little, to no, internet presence. Other to check important, job related email, I rarely got on the net.

However, one thing that has never ceased is my love of the dark and dreary. Ever since I was young, I've always had the mindset of taking comfort in the growing gloom of Autumn, and the cold, wet days of Winter/Spring. I've always had a love of the dark atmospherics growing up. Not only were those interests tied up in the weather, but also in my artistic interests such as film, music, and literature as this blog exemplifies, to the point where I believe I can easily consider myself as a member of the Gothic subculture because of it (even though I don't really consider this blog a 'goth' blog, as I review things that aren't typically 'goth').

Now, what exactly draws me to being drawn to such things? In a way, the answer is somewhat abstract, but I'll try and answer that question the best way I possibly can, from my own perspective. The easiest way to explain it is that not only does the dark and dreary always seemed to contain a sense of mystery to it, but the strange and weird always seemed fascinating. An interest in which is unknown to us is ultimately the central part of it. Interest in what our eyes can't see, as well as what we can see.

Finding beauty and an enduring interest in what people typically find odd and a bit macabre, embracing and enjoying it. Take The Addams Family, for example (ok, maybe an over used example, but over used for a reason), which shows that it's ok to love the macabre and strange, and just because you do, doesn't mean you're a bad person. Sure, the characters were considered odd and rather scary, but they were ultimately good people who just loved things that were different. They never went around wishing pain, suffering and death to others, or moped around about how much they'redepressed, they just enjoyed the oddities and mysteries hidden in darkness.

I'll use the film Dark City (which I previously reviewed, as you can read here) to help explain this. Throughout the film, the main character, John Murdoch, is exploring a city that is stuck in eternal night, and he is searching for a place called Shell Beach. Whenever Murdoch asks for directions, people seem remember being there, but are completely unable to remember how to get there, and every time Shell Beach seems to be within grasp, we only find that the darkness has once again hidden our path towards the truth.

What makes us want to continue watching is the fact that the seemingly further we get from Shell Beach, the more intriguing this place becomes. The more the shadows overwhelm the plights of our main character, the more we want to learn what is happening and what's causing this. The more we see of the sadness that seems to overwhelm the people around Murdoch, the more we want to know how they became that way. And we may not entirely get all of the answers, leaving some aspects of the story to our own imaginations.

And that's why I love things that are of the darker persuasion, the beauty in what lies behind the grey clouds and and within the shadows. Taking comfort in a world that is filled with things we don't know, and the wanting to pursue them. Finding things that are uniquely strange to be captivating and beautiful.