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Platform (2020) Short Film Review

★★★★


Directed by: #MarkPluck

Written by: #MarkPluck

Starring: #FinlayRobertson, #IsabellaInchbald


 

Set in a deserted train station, a husband is returning home from an illicit affair and must face the consequences of his carnal desires.


Platform (2020) is the directorial debut of London based director/writer Mark Pluck and received its World Premiere at Grimmfest, followed up by screenings at Lund Fantastic and the British Horror Film Festival, where Pluck won the Rising Star Award. The short was filmed in East Sussex and depicts an eerie urban ghost story, with the familiar setting of a dark platform haunted by an ill-intentioned supernatural presence.


We open on an unsettling scene of our unnamed lead (Robertson) being driven through a dark, foggy countryside road to the train station. Rupert Uzzell’s score shines here with a disturbing undertone heightening a sense of foreboding and impending dread, which escalates when we discover our lead is corresponding with another woman, instead of the wife and daughter waiting for him at home. Emily Uzzell’s creepy sound design heightens the immersive atmosphere created by Pluck’s sinister direction and visual aesthetic, effectively capturing the natural eeriness of finding oneself alone on a deserted train platform at night.


Film still from Platform (2020)

The short is a slow burn horror which works very well in building suspense, as we learn of how the lead eventually plans to meet up with the young woman again and this decision will ultimately cost him everything. The appearance of another traveller, played by Isabella Inchbald, is more unsettling than comforting as she asks our lead from across the other side of the platform whether he has seen her boyfriend. Moments later, she is no where to be seen and only her bright pink suitcase remains. The warnings are subtly presented throughout until a final harrowing ending, orchestrated to perfection by Pluck and editor Janka Troeber, makes a sound impression of well executed, chilling horror.


Mark’s inspiration for his short came from his own fear of train stations at night, making for a very fitting setting for a disturbing horror narrative. He is also fascinated by humans being able to live separate lives, with the one in the physical world and the other inside our heads, with his film depicting the idea of these two worlds colliding. The lead in his film is torn between his commitment to his family and the internalised raw feelings of lust for the young woman and guilt, however, his ultimate decision turns his night into a nightmare immediately.


Platform is a thoroughly impressive short, with an effectively creepy tone and sense of foreboding throughout, established by promising direction and a riveting sound design.

 

Platform (2020) trailer:


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