Movie Review – Annotated (2011)

A rare book dealer receives a strange book with a small note that reads only, “The world must know.” As he attempts to decipher the contents, he finds himself faced with deeper and darker levels of occult knowledge that chips at his sanity.

Director: Joe Lopez
Writer: Joe Lopez
Stars: Mallory Carrick and Joe Lopez

Viewing horror shorts are hit and miss. I actually get to view a bunch of them due to being a judge for a few horror festivals and the shorts are always the ones that I look forward to the most. First off, if it is bad, it is less to endure, but if it is good, you feel like you are watching something special that could one day launch a career or become a full-length feature.

Years ago, I was lucky enough to view a short called Means to an End which ended up launching the career or Paul Solet (Grace). I was able to view the short before it became part of the Fangoria: Blood Drive II (2005) collection (the gem of that series I might add). FearShop.com also donated the shirts for the characters in that film and received credits in the film.

Back to Annotated, by Joe Lopez. I will say that Lopez took a huge risk by writing, directing and starring in this short, but it did not deter the fun that I had with this one in any way. The film was crafted with precision and detail that I wish many Hollywood directors actually had the skills to do. The suspense was built up throughout the entire nine minutes and culminated with a final scene that has stuck with me for a while now. That final scene is one of the more powerful scenes that I have watched in a long time.

The most impressive part of this short is what was done with the little bit of resources available. Camera angles and lighting were used perfectly and created the perfect atmosphere that was need for Annotated. With only nine minutes to capture the audience, the film was able to lure in the watcher and make sure that they were there for the entire length of the movie.

I wish the director luck with this short as I know that it is a hard road out there, but if his future work is anything along the lines of Annotated, I am sure that success will quickly follow.