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Ten, Thirteen, Twelve short film review


Words: "Ten, Thirteen, Twelve" in yellow on a black screen.
Title: Ten, Thirteen, Twelve

Ten, Thirteen, Twelve, is a short supernatural, psychological thriller directed and written by Daniel Bowhers. His work prior has focused primarily on visual effects, with over 20 credits to his name. The concept for Ten, Thirteen, Twelve, was created by Bowhers and Nick Brandreth who also plays The Shepard and worked on post-production. The film follows Sarah (Lauren MacDonough) as she suffers from supernatural nightmares which appear to become reality in this 13-minute short. The film has excellent cinematography and makes great use of drone footage from Adam Montoya, he captures brilliantly the stunning woodland landscape filmed in Rochester, New York, US. The beauty of the location is interjected less than 30 seconds in when a moment ramps up the action and sets the course for the rest of the film. The aesthetic of the woodland is by far the best part of the film. All three actors, Josh Olkowski, Lauren MacDonough, and Dave Marum are relatively unknown, with MacDonough making her debut in 2018 and Ten, Thirteen, Twelve, being Marum’s only acting credit. Olkowski’s role features heavily within the supernatural, bringing both human and non-human elements together. The execution of the CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) didn’t quite hit the mark for me, but due to being short and with a much smaller budget than big blockbuster movies, it can be mostly forgiven. The raw material of the film had the promise to be great, but the execution of the narrative mixed with back and forth editing made it hard to follow. I found myself still confused by the end of the film as to what really happened. This, however, is surely what the creators would want after having produced a psychological thriller, which is all about the mind and posing questions. Ten, Thirteen, Twelve, features the song ‘Danny Boy’ which has connotations of rural land and nostalgia, with many generations of people knowing this song well. ‘Danny Boy’ was originally written and composed by Frederic Weatherly in 1913 and first performed in 1915 by Elsie Griffin. This small reference ties the film to the Irish roots of the song which is played in a pivotal moment in the film. ‘Danny Boy’ could reflect a theme of Irish heritage and folklore, a potential influence for the aesthetic of the creature (The Shepard) alongside influence from mythology. The CGI parts are definitely the weaker components of the film, however, with the initial concept being pretty good there's potential that with a greater budget this film could master the supernatural. As it stands Ten, Thirteen, Twelve, follows a confusing edit and hard to follow plotline but with a limited directorial repertoire, Bowhers uses his visual effects knowledge to create a short that leaves you with endless questions.



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