The Game of the Clock short film review


★★★

Directed by: #MicheleOlivieri

Written by: Michele Olivieri, #IanReid

Starring: #SimoneMumford

Short Film Review by: Chris Olson

The Game of the Clock movie review


The Game of the Clock short movie poster

An Empire magazine interview with horror #filmmaker Jordan Peele recently revealed how he started making movies following the poor output from Hollywood in the wake of 9/11. He didn't name names but it doesn't take a genius to know that the horror films with the most popularity in that era were franchises like Saw and Paranormal Activity. The former of which is most definitely an influence on this short #horror film from filmmaker Michele Olivieri, The Game of the Clock.


Starring Simon Mumford as Alice, who turns up at her friend Susan’s house late at night only to discover she’s not in. And instead of going home, our protagonist enters the house to find a seriously screwed up game of terror awaiting her. Aside from the clamorous alarm clock ringing, there is a note drawn in crayon asking if she can endure 5 minutes in this, The Game of the Clock. As Alice pokes around the house still looking for her mate, she finds more eery notes and something lurking in the shadows.


Suitably scary and achieving a decent atmosphere of spookiness throughout, Olivieri is able to thrust the viewer into a thrilling set up quickly and keep them fixated on the twists and turns of this warped tale. The camera follows Alice around the house as if part of the game, honing in on her vulnerability and keeping the audience guessing as to what’s to come.


Regrettably, The Game of the Clock is hampered by transparent storytelling and a weak script. There is no nuance to the narrative that would set it apart from horror movies made fifteen years ago and instead the piece leans heavily on genre techniques to get the job done. The jump scares are there, as is the overcooked sound design, all creating a cacophony of horror stylings that audiences will be overly familiar with. Mumford is a decent lead but turns in nothing more than slapdash panic and terror because that’s what’s in the script. Our investment in her character is minimal, as is our concern for her fate. Instead, the viewer simply awaits to see what kind of horrific trappings and gimmicks the filmmaker will employ in this tale of terror.


To expect Peele levels of #filmmaking from an indie short is obviously unreasonable but there should certainly have been more of a relevancy to this piece being made in 2019. With Halloween fast approaching, there is more of an appetite for the latest trick but with this we get a passable but very recognisable treat.


#ChrisOlson