Short Film Reviews-Tinsel, Dead Note and Potential Employee

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Tinsel is a 40 plus minute film centered around the urban legend of a Christmas serial killer they deemed The Tinsel Killer. Sarah has reoccurring nightmares nightly of this killer and that he is coming to kill not only her but her family. As Sarah’s parents go out of town, they leave her and Max in charge of the house for the weekend, and as you can assume when you leave two people alone in college age that a party will happen. They invite all their friends over to have a drunken time during the holidays, but Sarah is just sure that the Tinsel Killer is coming to ruin the party. Well, when people start disappearing one by one on this weekend, will Sarah be able to stop the killer?

This is a throwback to old school 80’s slashers, it has some amazing and I will say that again, some amazing kills and really cool effects. Also this film implements a few different styles, some scenes are in black and white and others are a grainy 70’s and the majority feels and looks modern. This film does not skimp on the killing; the film starts off as most slasher films do, with the introduction to the characters, and a little background on this killer and the musical montage that is supposed to be eye rolling and cheesy. Take that out of the way, this film is brutal, I mean the way some of these people die is so well thought out and beautifully shot that you know a lot of attention to detail was spent on just how that would come across. The film also gives us the usual stereotypical characters, where the token black people are killed off almost immediately and then most of the females do the same things females have done in slasher films over and over, they are designed to get you to shout at the television, “do not go in there”, “look out behind you”. My gripes about the film, well first off the pacing, I thought this film would give us a great kill, then the dialogue that followed with other characters seemed to try to slow the film down, where I felt it should have just went balls to the wall, and kept the kills coming and maybe create more fear. See, people are dying and no one really is noticing or hearing any screams, but there is no music in the house playing. Which in the opening dialogue with the brother and sister, he said a comment that when you scream at night from the nightmares you have it keeps him from getting his beauty sleep. Well, if that is the case why when other people are screaming a lot louder does no one hear them? And, there is a scene I cannot go more in depth about for spoiler reasons, but if that scene went down like that, it makes no sense as to what the twist of the film is and how it can be. Those gripes aside, there is a lot to brag about with this film, and for all you people who miss the days of the old school slasher, you will love this film a lot.

8 out of 10

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Short Two is called Dead Note which focuses on musician Wesley Strange. The short opens when he is playing a gig that goes horribly wrong for him and a lot of people are killed. Now, that would be a bad enough thing for anyone to deal with but it seems that Wesley’s song may have been to blame, because each time he seems to get his guitar and play a certain song someone gets killed. We learn in this short that lasted around 8 minutes, how Wesley stumbled upon this song and that this may not be his song after all. Well, as Wesley is in his place playing it his girlfriend is knifed to death and now this killer is out to get Wesley and maybe get him to stop playing this song. This short was fun for what it was, it gave you some decent kills and a story that I wish was so much longer and developed, it was like they knew they only had 8 minutes and tried to pack so much into it. A story like this needs development and kudos that the film was as good as it was, but I felt I wanted to know more and more character development but this I will call a great trailer for a cool film. I know this is playing some fests, I would say it is a fun little watch that will get your chops wet for the main course.

7.5 out of 10

I just witnessed the most bizarre short I have seen in a while; Potential Employee revolves around two ladies in a job interview. You have Janice who is conducting the interview and Melinda who is being interviewed. The interview seems to be going ok, till Janice asks Melinda to let her see her vagina to know if she is normal. This short goes around 4 minutes and it is deeply disturbing and utterly funny as all hell, when the question is asked and all of a sudden the young polite hopeful seems disturbed, and thru a series of flashbacks we learn that maybe she needed the job a little too much at first. The story is short and really does not beat around the bush and you get a woman who seems to be wondering if her lady stuff is accurate and another woman who we watch runs the hell out after a series of things happen. For what this was, it was fun but what can you really tell about 4 minutes. I would think a film and subject like this is better suited for a short film, but 4 minutes really is too short. For what is was, it had me laughing at a certain moment and utterly wondering how far it would go, and trust me it goes pretty far.

7.5 out of 10