Turn Around short film

★★

Directed by: #LukeOstermiller

Starring: #ScottKLeslie, #CaliJune, #RJWagner

Short Film Review by: #BrianPenn


I always felt the #horror genre was lost on me; a vast array of shockers have left me largely unmoved. I either yawned all the way through or laughed at the most inappropriate moments. They were invariably well constructed pieces that earned my respect; but I never sought refuge behind the sofa.


I confidently threw the gauntlet down to director Luke Ostermiller; would he be able to pick his way into my imagination?


The set-up for Turn Around is deliciously simple; Nathan (Scott K. Leslie) has pulled the attractive blond Amber (Cali June). They are soon on their third date and heading for a camping trip.


A nicely understated score is gently building the tension when Amber abruptly stops the car. Nature has literally called as she disappears into the woods. Too much time passes and Nathan goes off to look for her. He finds the car keys and investigates further, but is of course being watched. A hefty whack on the nose with a shovel puts him out. He awakes strapped to a wooden stool. Thick plastic sheets cover the floor and a carpenters’ rack adorns the wall complete with saws, chisels and knives; it is fair to assume Nathan is in a spot of bother. He is soon confronted by Brian (B.J. Wagner) complete with leather apron and menacing looks. But will Nathan escape the fiend’s clutches and find Amber?


This is a classic extension of the teddy bear’s picnic; and the assumption we will be sure of a big surprise. Sadly, there was nothing vaguely surprising or shocking in the movie. True, I didn’t yawn or laugh so it certainly had my attention for the right reasons. Despite my efforts to give the film a reasonable chance, it simply didn’t rise to the challenge. The limited timescale forces the director’s hand much earlier in the story; so we naturally expect one final attack on the senses before the closing credits start to roll. However, it was let down by a disappointingly weak finale and could have been lifted from a hundred horror flicks to which it undoubtedly aspired. I am sadly, still waiting for the great game changer in horror: perhaps one day?