Today, we’re venturing into a look at two 2017 horror short films, Latched and Goodnight, Gracie.
Director: Justin Harding
Cast: Alana Elmer, Bowen Harding, Peter Higginson, Jarrett Siddall
An obsessive choreographer on a creative retreat with her toddler awakens a fairy corpse with disturbing intentions – IMDB
Latched is an interesting concept. Running at around 17 minutes, it is definitely one if the longer short films I have encountered. Its a little more predictable as to where the film wants to go however if anything, it is a disturbing thought when we learn the true intentions. Playing on concepts of mandrakes and fairies in the wood and a mother’s instinct to protect her child, Latched takes us on a rather thrilling ride with some genuinely creepy moments. While the plot itself falls into familiar themes, the standout of this piece is in fact the beautiful and haunting score accompanying it and the isolated location.
In all its beauty, Latched is a little predictable but also quite odd. However, there is a charm to this one perhaps in its attempt to let us understand our characters slightly while letting the horror aspects play out in a few jump scares after building the atmosphere. Its a creepy idea and one that is fairly well executed.
Goodnight, Gracie (2017)
Director (and writer): Stellan Kendrick
Cast: Caige Coulter, Courtney Gains, Zoe Simpson Dean, Brad Goodman
After mom gets hacked to pieces by her latest lover, a devout child fights to escape the same fate. – IMDB
Goodnight Gracie makes a very good statement in how a very well executed film can have its moment just by well timed cues despite its length. Running at 4 minutes, Goodnight Gracie is truly feels like a scene of a film that has a deeper meaning of faith and perhaps the naivety of children. In the face of danger and witnessing something horrifying, Gracie chooses to lock herself in her room, go under the covers and read texts of the bible in seek of comfort or a miracle. There is terrifying moments best brought out with films that work on child endangerment themes from the close-ups of the killer to the quick mumbles of words as Gracie hides under the covers. It brings out the familiar of hiding away from the world and its problems to seek refuge. Its a great premise and the director writes a great script that is executed well with shots that shy away from revealing too much while still building tension and making us for that brief few minutes care for Gracie. And when the film ended, I wanted more.
Luckily, after some research, it seems they are looking to expand this idea into a feature film, which I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for it.