Directed by: #DarrenAFurniss
Darren A. Furniss’ short film Shredders is one of the best short films I’ve seen!
It tells the story of an office party that goes wrong when a group of monsters crash the party and kill the employers. The idea of having a monster that is set during an office party is great – the flesh and soul eating monsters work so well as an analogy to how work affects our personal life to an extreme. There were so many moments when the film drew a line between the monster invasion and the workspace – such as small talk whilst waiting for the lift or just the overall office gossip - that made the film so much better.
This film is not perfect, but it is really good!
The sound mixing, especially at the beginning of the film, is a bit loud so it is difficult to understand what the actors are saying. However, this is the only fault in the film. The film starts in the middle of the attack and it ends 17 minutes later without much happening – we don’t know who our main characters were, we don’t know their backstory (a little bit in passing) and we don’t know what happens to them once the cameras are not on them. But that’s what makes this film so good – it acknowledges its limitations and it tells the snap of a story instead of trying to tell the beginning, middle and end in a short period.
The actors in this film did a fantastic job and each incorporates the characters’ personalities perfectly. Sophie Mensah is Peggy Reynolds, the badass “outsider” and takes the other two characters from their comfort – for better or for worse. Darren Ruston as Richard ‘Dick’ Gables and Michael James Dean (who also penned the screenplay) as Stan Michaels are great as the odd pair who ended up together. Their performances are not over the top, just on the correct level for what the film asks for – a somewhat theatrical performance but with a dose of seriousness.
The technical parts of Shredders left me very impressed – the use of colour is stunning and it uses the Christmas backdrop to its advantage, and does the art department. What made me laugh at first were the Christmas jumpers the characters are wearing! These are details that add so much to the value of the film and add to the spectators’ involvement.
The editing and #cinematography left me wondering the film’s influence. And it is important to note the decision of leaving things out of the frame. As mentioned above, Furniss’ greatest achievement in this film was recognising its own boundaries. More often than not a filmmaker, especially in short films, has an excellent idea that is, unfortunately, bigger than the budget or the production of the film. Shredders understands that, although it has an ambition idea (monster invasion), it opts to leave them out of the frame – playing with the sound effects and the spectators’ imagination. The fact that we don’t see the monsters didn’t harm the film, but ended up adding value to other parts of the film. It is better to conceal something and focus on making the other parts good, than try to create a monster and end up with a copy from the 50s #horror B-films.
Shredders is a very entertaining short - the crew behind this film should be proud of what they’ve put together!