“What We Do In The Shadows”
Review by Chris Olson
Monogamy - one of the scariest premises, but rarely used for the horror genre. Forget your cursed voodoo dolls and spirits from another world, you only need to look at a bitter married couple in order to find inspiration for a scary story. I may be being hyperbolic (especially as a married man myself so SHHH!), but this idea seems t
Filmed entirely within the confines of an isolated house, bereft of lighting, where two characters are immersed in shadows - both literally and figuratively. Nick (Michael A. LoCicero) and his partner Jill (Susan T. Travers), are prisoners within this home, because outside lurks a tormenting presence that is never given a name or motive - allowing the audience to decide why it haunts our protagonists. Already dripping with tension at this volatile standoff, Nick and Jill increase the distress by going through an on-screen domestic, bickering about the best course of action. What becomes clear is that there is a tangible divide between these two people, whether metaphysical or otherwise.
With a sincere dedication to the genre and a phenomenal artistry in his filming, Horn delivers a short film that will have you begging for more. Complemented by powerhouse performances from LoCicero and Travers, this is the type of movie that rarely comes along, short or otherwise. There is a focus to the whole thing, where every part of the mise-en-scéne has been delicately chosen, proof that Horn’s directorial strength extends beyond great storytelling.
For some the darkness of the production could be unappealing, but this atmosphere beautifully represents the terrifying banality of our own insecurities, and is captivating in its bleakness. Within five minutes this couple is torn apart before our eyes (not literally, in case you suffer from nausea), they are ripped from the seams by a difficult situation, and all we are left with is the gut-wrenching notion that the foundation of human relationships is built on unsure footing.
Aside from a slightly irksome soundtrack, They’re Closing In is about as close to a perfect short film as you can get.