Directed by: Meosha Bean Starring: Meosha Bean Short Film Review by: Richard Tanner
I SEE YOU directed by and starring Meosha Bean, is a horror short that follows a burglar in her attempt to rob a house, all the while being watched by a unknown figure.
Shorts made in this vain have always been a great entry point for filmmakers, acting as a sort of hands on education to iron out kinks and develop style. But the short can offer so much more than this, where the ability to create character, plot, and emotion in such a short timeframe is a refined skill, and something that seems to have been lost here. As such, shorts like I SEE YOU don’t really seem to be what you might call a short at all, rather a ten minutes burst of an unmade feature, a sort of calling card for Bean’s interest and ability.
This is made immediately clear in I SEE YOU, where it seems as if we’ve been thrown into a climactic ending, just without any of the context that provides said climax. As a result the film spends the first four minutes very literally signposting motive (provided through shots of phone messages and an unidentifiable image), and what little plot is to follow. These shots are cut between so fleetingly that there’s little room to feel any form of suspense and therefore any investment in the story as it unfolds. What suspense there is, is quickly shot down by all too literal dialogue, removing any belief in character or realism.
What is clear however, and can be said in Bean’s favour, is her appreciation and understanding of horror, folding in several tropes of the genre; the creaking door, the extreme close-up, and the isolated character in a dark unfamiliar space. Non-diegetic sound is also timed effectively. Used sparingly, its presence automatically gives off a feeling of anxiety. This is maybe more to do with similar sounds being such iconic tools of the genre rather than the sound itself, but nevertheless it’s used well.
I feel Bean has unnecessarily constrained herself, limiting the film to a mere ten minutes. But maybe that’s just it? Is horror suited to the short form film (at least those around this ten minute mark)? Does it require the benefits of time to really be effective? I’d be happy to see someone challenge this idea, not to mention surprised and hopefully shocked!