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Surprise Short Film Review

★★

Directed by: #LuckyRathore

Short Film Review by: Alexandra James



 

Surprise is a short horror film that follows a young painter who lives alone in a secluded house when a sinister wooden box appears on his doorstep. The painter begins to inspect the box and prise it open, only to unleash an evil force that lies within. The story takes a turn, as the painter struggles to determine reality and fantasy, as he becomes haunted by horrors of his past. Directed by Lucky Rathore, this short is filled with anticipation and attempts to raise the hairs on the back of our necks by delving into themes of nightmares and dark entities.


Horror films can be very much hit and miss, often people are not a fan of the genre because it does tend to spill out a lot of clichés and struggle to provide a new and exciting twist or turn in events. I have seen a lot of horror films, and it is one of my favourite genres, however, I believe that the mark of a good horror is originality but still paying homage to a lot of classics we know and love. Surprise did attempt to nod a cap of appreciation to horrors and thrillers that came before it. With a secluded location, a dark and mysterious box left waiting on the doorstep, and a fearful entity that accidentally becomes released, these are all key ingredients for a reasonably good horror film we can invest in. However, it is that creativity or unique flare from a director that propels the film into one of the greats and a perfect addition to the genre. The film lacked diverse scenes and was extremely difficult to follow. If it was not for the synopsis, I do not believe I would have been able to understand the concept entirely. The film itself was also exceptionally dark so it made certain scenes challenging to grasp.


In addition, it was not clear that a dark entity had escaped this mysterious box, there needed to be a shift in tempo. That fear and trepidation did not seem to overcome the painter at all, and so the audience are left in this state of the unknown. There is a build-up within the narrative but unfortunately, there is no form of relief or twist that keeps us engaged, the story ends up with no real direction or an ending that manages to tie everything together.


Surprise requires some development  in terms of it narrative, a horror does not just involve creating a creepy and tense atmosphere there needs to be a story driving the piece forward, giving the audience something new and fresh. Often there is a repetition of storylines amongst horror films, so it is important to show us something that has not been done before, or even a twist to a classic. It will be fascinating to see director Lucky Rathore, create more stories, and generate that climactic twist that leaves viewers wanting more.

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