★★★★★ Directed by: Anssi Korhonen Written by: Anssi Korhonen Starring: Wendy Rosas, Michael Pitthan, Holden McNeil Short Film Review by: Chris Olson
Vividly chilling and intensely atmospheric, short film 42 Days from filmmaker Anssi Korhonen is a compelling piece of horror cinema that combines a terrific storyline with a phenomenal central performance.
Wendy Rosas plays Sofia, a mother-to-be whose expectancy has been wholeheartedly trampled by the fact that she is losing her vision. Whilst her doctor (Michael Pitthan) goes some way to ease her pain by stating her visual deterioration has slowed, perhaps enough for her to see her baby when it's born, he goes on to pile on the misery by saying Sofia is also suffering with Charles Bonnet Syndrome, a side-effect of losing her sight which will cause visual hallucinations. As these spooky apparitions start to plague our protagonist, she must count down the clock and hope she can maintain her grip on reality, at least until her little one is born.
Rosas is incredible in the leading role, delivering a turn that is utterly convincing and moving. Not only does she thrive in the horror-based scenes, she also brings a wonderful sense of empathy and compassion in the warmer scenes, such as a telephone call with her mother where they plan to have a baby shower. This ability to combine the lighter and darker forces around her character made the impact of 42 Days wholly more immersive. Pitthan is also excellent as the caring doctor and his delivery of the good and bad news in the earlier scene were a brilliant foundation for him to build the character for what comes later.
The cinematography is gloriously macabre, rendering the viewer inert in this landscape of blurred reality and disturbing visions. There is a palpable sense of tension throughout the short that Korhonen constructs and then uses to grip the viewer whilst the narrative becomes increasingly intense and foreboding. The use of darkly lighted scenes is particularly useful in highlighting the isolation of the main character as well as the internal view of her growing fetus which cements this sense of impending tragedy.
Horror genre fans will be delighted to know that 42 Days does not suffer from relying too heavily on the spooky apparitions. Instead, the film remains balanced on the right side of the narrative, keeping the characters in full focus for the majority of the run time and allowing the obvious emotional distress of Sofia to do the heavy lifting. The result is an incredibly affecting short horror that smartly puts all of its faith in a brilliant story, incredible performances, and a deftly cultivated tone.
Watch the official movie trailer below...