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A Candle in the Dark short film review

Directed by: #JohnBabu

Written by: #JohnBabu


Words: 'A Candle in the Dark' in faded yellow on a black screen.
'A Candle in the Dark'

A Candle in the Dark is a short supernatural film, which follows The Medium, a man who tries to live up to his mother’s reputation by delving into the spirituality of transcendentalism. Whilst he battles with his ability to perform as a medium, an unknown man lingers and follows his every move, seemingly without reason. The film explores the afterlife and ‘the other side’ whilst taking the audience on a journey as the characters search for either the truth or for a sense of accomplishment.

Sound plays an important part in this 9-minute short film, Jordan C Koziej composed original music for the film, which is used alongside a mixture of ambience and foley from online resources. Whilst writing, directing, producing, and starring in the piece, Babu is also the editor and uses haunting music to bring an element of tension to the film. It benefits from its use of sound in terms of music, as it does well to initially set up the tone of the film. However, it appears a little lacklustre as the voiceover from the actors is almost jarring. Their tone and emotion fail to come through convincingly, turning what could have been a suspenseful film into a rather dull one.

The acting aside from the use of voiceover is not outstanding, from both Michael Marshall as The Medium and James Kakaletris as The Mystery Character. Both actors seem to almost downplay their roles and the delivery doesn’t quite hit the mark. Elements of their dialogue could have been heightened and used to create more tension but instead, they seem to fall flat.

The premise of this film and the ending are good, and it plays well with some focus changes from Cinematographer John Doe, to draw attention to certain parts of the scene. There is a nice reveal right at the end which does work well by leaving the film on a slight cliff-hanger which is always a good way to draw the audience in and make them reflect on the film.

Unfortunately, the film feels slow and a little boring, it could have packed a punch with a different cast and an improved narrative structure. There is definitely something good to be taken from this film; the idea is sound and this being Babu’s first short, there’s hope that in time the final result will match the initial intention. The script is good but it’s the execution that lets A Candle in the Dark down.


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