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Bus Stop

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Aug 5, 2023

Film Reviews
Bus Stop
Directed by:
Zora Cielle Auri
Written by:
Zora Cielle Auri
Joshua Shea, Poppie Boyes

A youth waits at a bus stop where strange and sinister things occur.


It is night-time and a young man named Holden (Shea) is at a bus stop, listening to music. He then receives a message on his phone informing him that his university application has been unsuccessful and also messages from his mother about that and his general aimlessness. Then, he notices a teenaged girl (Boyes) sitting next to him, holding a doll. The two of them strike up a conversation regarding their lives and Holden begins seeing frightening figures in the darkness, looking at them.


This creepy and dramatic short contains many elements that are associated with the horror genre. A character is alone at an isolated and quiet location during the night, darkness all around him, a stranger suddenly appears, whose intentions may or may not be good and ghost-like people show up. It is a horror film, however, it also explores themes that include self-reflection, hopelessness and trauma.


Holden is a person who does not know what he wants to do with his life, the people around him do not understand him and he seems to be lost and unmotivated. He clearly means well but he needs to figure out his life. The girl at the bus stop is mysterious and played brilliantly by Boyes. She teases Holden and opens up to him about her troubled past and current life (as does he) and it gradually becomes apparent that there might be more to her than meets the eye.


Anri directs in a way that makes the film feel like a stage play and the lighting techniques that include a bus stop light bulb that repeatedly flashes, create a dark and frightening environment, all of which look even better thanks to Rodrigo Pedras' cinematography. The fast cutting editing method works well and the dynamic and creative sounds incorporate the ticking of a clock. Praise also goes to Morgan Shelsher for the make-up on the menacing beings, who stand still, never moving, like living statues.


On YouTube, someone described this short as a ''Classic Victorian ghost story modernised to today'', which is a rather appropriate description. This is a horror story with a spooky atmosphere, supernatural entities and feelings of dread. However, it also addresses self-discovery and supports the idea that people should stop avoiding their problems and face them, leading to a better life.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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