Feb 18, 2022
Jamie Montgomery, Matt Kesby
Melissa Thomas, Adrian Annis, Natalie Voyce
Left feeling aggrieved by her cheating boyfriend, Danielle (Melissa Thomas), struggles to find forgiveness in her heart. Dealing with his dishonesty and deception is a hurdle she cannot overcome, but her dilemma was about to get much more sinister.
Chain Mail is the second short film production by writer and director Jamie Montgomery, who also directed ‘The Stranger’ as his first short film entry. The audience is introduced to Danielle and her friend (Natalie Voyce) sharing a phone call, with Danielle seeking support on her relationship with Chris (Adrian Annis). The friend attempts to persuade Danielle to give Chris another chance and give him the benefit of the doubt, however, it is not that easy for Danielle. As she ends the phone call frustrated with her friends support for Chris, the darkness of her room and the scene foreshadows what was about to occur. Danielle was about to receive an unwanted message from an unknown sender known only as Regret.
An email notification catches Danielles attention. The email tells Danielle that if she did not continue to read the message she would regret it, without hesitation she obliges. Poetry can be used to express love, happiness and wonder but this was not the case for Danielle as she reads the proceeding email. The contents, a poem warning her should she not forgive Chris she will live to regret it. Sceptically, Danielle nervously laughs at the email which warns her of regret turning up to give her a freight at 2am that very night. The phone rings, it is Chris, in her confused and bewildered state, Danielle declines the call with a picture of Chris watching over her in the background.
In the films climax, a psychedelic scene ensues, as a figure appears in Danielles apartment with a knife and begins to attack her. She wakes up with a fright, from what was a nightmare or so she thought. The clock read two in the morning, Danielle headed to the bathroom, where she was to discover the word ‘regret’ written in blood on her hand towel. Was this a dream? Is her nightmare becoming a reality? Danielle looks up in shock, into the mirror, as Chris is stood breathing down her neck…
After the impressive first short film from Jamie Montgomery, Chain Mail followed up with another deep and dark story with twists and turns to keep the audience alert. Some viewers may find the email from ‘Regret’ actually coming from Chris, not much of a surprise and somewhat predictable. However, the story telling, the poem on the email and the manner of the dream becoming a reality does keep the suspenseful effect of the reveal. Given the size and scale of the production, the camera work and visual aspects of the film were very engaging for the audience. Particularly, the scene where Danielle is dreaming of her attack, the psychedelic visuals as well as the audio effects, build the tension of the story. This is a common theme across the Jamie Montgomery short films, with The Stranger using these visual effects extremely well. Credit must also go to the director of photography - Richard J. Wood - for this success. Melissa Thomas, Danielle, from the outset provides the audience with a sense of her emotional state and dilemma with a thoroughly convincing performance. The pain and terror she feels, the audience feels too.
Jamie Montgomery has created another very credible short film in Chain Mail, with a strong story line, good visual effects and audio direction that added to the story. There is room for the story to expand and grow with the nature of the ending, leaving the audience wanting to know more. This for Jamie Montgomery and the whole crew is a success.