Directed by: #PhilipBrocklehurst
Written by: #PhilipBrocklehurst
Short Film Review by: #ChrisBuick
#Shortfilm The Reflection presents yet another offering from the commendably prolific #filmmaker Philip Brocklehurst, whose other works in the short-horror genre include Vengeance Runs Red, Lock the Door and I’m God, as well as countless others. While a number of these previous ventures have perhaps fallen slightly short of the mark, Brocklehurst is a filmmaker who is never short on ideas, and The Reflection is perhaps a more encouraging example of the ever-busy writer/director’s potential for short-form storytelling.
As with most of Brocklehurst’s work, the concept and execution of The Reflection is simple, concise and to the point. An unnamed man (portrayed by Brocklehurst, billed as his alias P.M. Thomas) stares intently into his bathroom mirror deep into his own reflection only to discover something unexpected staring back at him.
Being completely honest, any true horror aficionados are undoubtedly not going to take much if anything at all away from this. The entirety of the film consists of a series of quick cuts between the same four or five angles of our protagonist and his reflection, the latter of those confined to a mere reflection or overly manic smile, and it’s a little frustrating to watch the opportunities for a well-placed jump-scare go begging every time, all in all meaning this film will struggle to scare even the most sensitive viewer. But it's clear that Brocklehurst is aiming for something a bit more than a cheap fright here and despite its crudeness and sparseness, The Reflection manages to achieve something that has been somewhat elusive in some of the director's work before, a bona fide sense of unease and tension.
Filmed during a time of depression, the film has a subtle subtext around the conflicting personalities within ourselves, and again while the film doesn’t do that much with that premise, it's refreshing to see a valiant attempt at some depth in storytelling. The films super minimalist simplicity is perhaps the main reason why The Reflection doesn’t succumb to the same pitfalls and mistakes we have seen before, it’s hard to make errors when there is very little that can go wrong. Filmed entirely with an eerily dark monochrome vibe as well minimal lighting, practical effects and sound, all the technical aspects are at a level decent enough to serve the films purpose if nothing more. Brocklehurst’s best and smartest choice here however is to know when to call it a day. The film runs just north of two minutes in total, which just about keeps it on the right-side of the line before falling into tediousness.
It’s by no means perfect, but by managing to create a brief yet genuine sense of unease and interest throughout, The Reflection succeeds where Brocklehurst previous efforts have perhaps fallen short.