Directed by: #StefanGeorgiou
Written by: #FredArmesto
Haunting and palpably tense, short #horror #thriller film The Dead Ones moves in mysterious ways. Written by Fred Armesto and directed by Stefan Georgiou, the movie gives its audience plenty to contemplate when it comes to living with our mistakes.
Olivia Hallinan plays Alex, whom we meet at the beginning of The Dead Ones through a rainswept car window looking fairly distraught. The reason for her distress manifests itself in the form of Jono (a fantastic turn by Sebastian Armesto), the victim of Alex’s drink driving who now follows her around as a constant reminder of her guilt. After meeting a “spiritualist” (Jim Conway) and meeting his fellow dead companion (Vinette Robinson), Alex learns there is a whole other side to the life she knew before, and that there may be a way of redeeming herself.
The casting for this movie is phenomenal. Rarely does a short film achieve four stunning performances but The Dead Ones certainly breaks the mould. Hallinan, as the lead, runs through an impressive medley of terror over the sub-twenty minutes run time that is terrific to watch. Armesto is completely intriguing and pretty much flawless in his portrayal of the car crash victim, in particular during a scene beside an outside swimming pool. Robinson is a joy to watch as the violent victim of the spiritualist’s rage, and Conway is utterly marvellous as the antagonist of the piece. His cockney charm and imposing presence provides, arguably, the most powerful sequences.
As a film dealing with guilt and redemption, The Dead Ones is a tour de force. The themes are explored with bold filmmaking and a consistently engrossing mise en scéne. As Alex’s nightmarish experiences build towards an ethical dilemma and crossroads, the audience is asked to question the motives of all the characters involved and whether two wrongs can indeed make a right.
Georgiou enlists a talented crew to deliver a compelling atmosphere throughout. The sound design is moody and tense, the cinematography is stark and enjoyable, and the use of some fabulous locations (including the aforementioned outdoor swimming pool) are superbly chosen. Whist the supernatural elements of the piece are strong, there also exists a gritty realism to some of the scenes which keeps the movie grounded. For example a car ride through the urban streets and the thrilling final third.