Written and Directed by: #UsherMorgan
Short film review by: Brian Penn
The big daddy of all fears is being trapped in a confined space. Not only do we confront the sensation, but also the twin fear of what holds us and who might be sharing that space with us. Shot in wonderfully evocative black and white, Trapped Inside relates the ordeal of Macy Nash (Elise Price) who awakes after almost drowning in the bath. Startled by her surroundings she tries to compose herself and gingerly wraps a towel around a trembling body. But she immediately feels a presence, both inside and outside the bathroom. A sense of panic grows as she searches for an escape route.
Director Usher Morgan pulls off an immensely gripping ten minute ride where the eyes cannot be averted. Every scene tops the previous one as the tension steadily cranks up. I rarely scare that easily watching a horror flick but this sent a distinct shiver up, down and around my spine. A bathroom scene in black and white inevitably recalls the classic scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Morgan similarly appreciates the power of suggestion and how contrasting light can transform the mood. Elise Price puts in a thoroughly convincing performance as Macy. You sense every breath comes from the pit of her stomach as fear illuminates hugely expressive eyes.
The feeling of claustrophobia lingers long after the film finishes; and the brief, almost fleeting images pack an amazing punch allowing the imagination to fill the blanks. This is how a horror film should be made. Not with elaborate graphics or blood soaked visuals; but more the essence of imagination mingling with reality and illusion. If it does have a fault, the narrative could use another five minutes to give Macy more depth and offer a more satisfying conclusion. Not quite a masterclass in the genre but it gets pretty close.