Updated: Oct 15, 2018
★★★★ Directed by: Dan Sully Written by: Dan Sully Starring: Tom Padley, Khali Best, Frances Campbell, James Eeles, Jackson Milner BFI London Film Festival Review by: Chris Olson
The stag do movie done with a penchant for mischievousness, short film I’m Dead from writer and director Dan Sully is a playful and entertaining comedy that, thankfully, doesn’t know when to stop.
Starring Tom Padley as Joe, a soon-to-be-wed young man who is about to embark on the notorious rite-of-passage, the stag do (or bachelor party if you are so inclined). Packing his bag and about to set off, Joe’s journey to the airport is halted, however, when he notices very loud music coming from his neighbour Linda's (Frances Campbell) house. Popping in to check that everything is okay, Joe is perturbed to discover that his neighbour is dead and he is being framed for the murder.
Candid and wickedly funny, the cast are a brilliant mix of Inbetweener crudeness and likeable jokesters. Padley goes through the various set pieces and sequences with an affable presence, coping well with the twists and turns in the narrative which switch from hilarious to macabre in a moment's notice. Shout out too to Campbell's turn which was understated to say the least, *chuckle.
The short film didn't really venture into any specific cinematic gimmickry or clever visuals. Filmmaker Dan Sully instead uses a tight collection of sequences and easy framing to ensure the audience keeps up with the plot, allowing the chemistry of the performances to do most of the heavy lifting. There was a nice bit of menace introduced by the robotic voice that gives Joe's his instructions to follow if he is to avoid having his life ruined.
There does feel like some potential was squandered in the limited run time of I'm Dead. Parts of the story could have definitely been explored further and it would have been really enjoyable to know more about each of the characters, especially Joe's friends who felt slightly underdeveloped. The production value was high, the performers are great and the script was compelling that audiences would have definitely stuck around for more as long as the hijinks were spaced out cleverly. As it is, this feels like a fun and engaging taste what the filmmakers can do and we wait with baited breath to see what comes. We just hope we can hold our breath as long as Linda.