Directed by Rob Savage
Starring Julie McLellan, Michelle Donnelly & Ben Tavassoli
Short Film Review by Chris Olson
All is not as it seems in this emotionally gripping drama from director Rob Savage, who delivers a harrowing and haunting tale of revenge set in the highlands.
Julie McLellan and Ben Tavassoli play a young couple on a road trip to Scotland with a seemingly disturbing purpose. Stopping for petrol along the way, the intimacies of this relationship seem dubious to say the least, and when the pair arrive at their destination it becomes clear that their plan is most definitely a chilling one.
A sublime attention to detail in this atmospheric piece, Healey's House is as affecting as it is tragic. These characters are fascinating, especially McLellan's character, whose motivation and behaviour during the short film becomes increasingly compelling. The tone never shifts from being darkly intriguing, but the nuances in the script suggest a particularly troubling outcome which perfectly reveals itself. Fantastic storytelling with a heightened sense of impending doom.
What is really great to see is the parallel focus; on the deed the couple plan to commit, and their own flawed relationship. The two things have more in common than it first seems, and the audience is taken on an unpredictable and thrilling journey. Each side of the film's plot is equally enthralling but taken as a whole, it becomes something rather special. Michelle Donnelly is also worthy of mention, putting in a balanced and engaging performance, but I won't give anything away about her character as that may spoil the enjoyment.
Savage proves himself more than capable of handling the heavy themes and technical intricacies needed to deliver a film of this depth, bolstered by two fantastic performances. Even though the film has a few country locales, it feels more urban in its delivery. The gritty interiors of the car sequences and the depressing, deserted areas they find themselves stopping in, reflecting the poignancy of woes that surround this tale.
The was another film in the Raindance Film Festival UK Shorts Programme, and was a great entry. It was a fantastic selection of some of the best filmmakers in the UK right now, and Savage most definitely fits that bill.
Healey's House ended up winning Best UK Short, a well-deserved win from an incredibly competitive category.
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