Directed by: #BlakeHurford
The short film Malum delves into the dark psychological abyss that is horror. The definition of 'Malum', as described in the film, is a Latin phrase meaning inherently wrong by nature or evil in itself. Nevertheless, the film does not entirely portray the epitome of evil but rather illustrates a strange crossover between reality and fantasy.
Malum heavily plays out a trippy psychological journey, following a girl who awakes in a dreamlike scenario unable to determine where she is or why she has come to be there. It seems that she is held captive by a young boy named ‘Jacob,’ however, there is some form of connection between the two with which the audience are unable to decipher. Jacob’s character seems to desire the girl due to his overprotective nature and disturbing comments on Andrea’s appearance. It is never truly revealed as to what his purpose is within the story, and it can be said that this makes it difficult to see his character as well rounded or a central part to the storyline. Without are a true purpose is the character a necessary instrument within the story? Many questions arise from this short piece, to the point where the audience are placed within Andrea’s shoes, struggling to understand how to escape this entrapment of gloom and ambiguity.
There are a variety of cutaways which reference a lot of Alice in Wonderland imagery. Characters wearing rabbit masks, snippets of the book and Alice herself were cleverly emplaced within this film. It certainly strengthened the idea that Malum should really not be dissected with logic or reasoning, but to be viewed with an open mind and seen as a film which dabbles on the fantastical and obscure. The editing could have been tightened up, there was some cuts which weren’t necessary and can be classed as amateurish. The frequent cuts often was out of place and made it difficult to concentrate on the story as a whole.
It should be noted that there was limited light throughout the entire piece, making it difficult to focus on the characters’ faces, reactions etc. I understand that darkness is a crucial element within the thriller/horror genre, however, it is equally as important to not darken the film completely in order to create a spine-tingling atmosphere as this can in turn produce a negative effect with regards to the quality of the film making.
This short piece was definitely a head-scratcher throughout and although the film is supposed to evoke a sense of confusion and ambiguity. However, there comes a point for the audience to have some form of satisfaction with regards to the outcome of the story or a clearer insight into the direction the drama will soon veer towards. Overall, an ominous and thought provoking short piece which definitely boggles the mind!