Directed by Steve Sage
Written by Lee Kolinsky
Starring Russ Camarda, Katherine Barron
Review by Lauren Nicholls
The short film 'Bulified' directed by Steve Sage Productions, is one that is both gripping and engaging for many viewers of various ages.
The start of the film pays homage to the classic horror film. A young man is in his house and the camera is outside it, giving a voyeuristic approach for the viewer. We hear a dog barking - it sounds like it is being attacked by something. The young man investigates and instantly the music changes from a classical score to a chilling one. The man is dead, but who is the killer?
The scene then changes to a prison cell where we see a man, Riley Samuel, who has victimised people throughout his life since he was a young boy. He is met by Staci, a detective who tries to blame the murders on Riley. What happens next is gripping and unexpected.
The film, though only twenty minutes long, provides a great understanding of how a simple twist in a storyline can keep viewers engaged. The editing of the film is incredibly simplistic and is perfect in every way for this film. The direction of the film does not need complicated cinematography and the director has made sure that this is the case.
The script for this film is extremely likeable and is reminiscent to Hollywood thrillers (Seven, I'm looking at you here). When talking about growing up, we see Riley telling Staci that “They don't tell you what to do when you find out all of that is impossible,” almost giving her a reasoning as to why he has been bullying people all his life. As a viewer, we want to see more and find out why Riley is victimising people and this seems to be the drive of the storyline.
Moreover, the characters are stereotypical. We see a psychopath being interrogated by a tightly-wound detective. This said, the casting is accurate and the film should be commended for this. Both the actors pursue a believable yet delicate performance and it is this that truly carries the short film.
Despite these positive aspects, the music presents many problems. We know that sound can really make or break a film and in this case, it seems that it did the latter. Unfortunately, the score can come across as a bit unnecessary at some points of the film and does not add much to its purpose in general. If anything, it seems a bit comical and does not give the film the full gratification it deserves.
This film is definitely not for everyone. However, if you enjoy thrillers with plot twists, then this short film is one you will not be disappointed in.