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It Lives Somewhere

average rating is 3 out of 5


Amber Jackson


Posted on:

Apr 15, 2022

Film Reviews
It Lives Somewhere
Directed by:
Lee D. Barnes
Written by:
Lee D. Barnes
Nikki Hellens, Edward Harrison, Daniel Mullan

“I forgot how to be strong”


It Lives Somewhere is a raw and emotionally charged film about what happens when an individual is given permission to explore their inner demons. Written and directed by Lee D. Barnes, this short film showcases the effects of grief and poor mental health and an attempt to improve self-worth.


Situated at the film’s centre is protagonist Nancy, a woman who is plagued by her past. Sat in a hypno-therapy situation, her therapist wishes her to descend into her inner mindset and confront what lurks within it. He refers to this as her ‘self-designed darkness’ and the viewer soon gets to uncover exactly what he means, as Nancy is thrust into a surreal landscape which makes her equally fearful and vulnerable. Those she meets on her journey are the most unlikely of characters that she simply has to acknowledge in order to succeed in her therapy session. Merely guided by the voice of her therapist, Nancy must make split-second decisions that will inevitably impact the rest of her journey. Her stress is heightened and the directions she takes makes for compelling viewing.


Clearly steady camera shots are filmed well to convey Nancy’s turmoil, which then become increasingly more distorted with her confusion. These surreal and dream-like moments represent Nancy seeking to connect with her childhood self and reconcile traumatic and sad events that occurred when she was young. The film weaves flashbacks into these emotive scenes which contain real insight into negative and intrusive thoughts that Nancy experienced whilst growing up. This conveys the deeper meaning of the film, where a childlike version of the protagonist is trapped within herself and she must confront the dark thoughts within herself in order to escape.


Ultimately, It Lives Somewhere captures the challenging effects of grief and struggling with complex emotions as a young person. Barnes has successfully expressed how difficult adults can find wrestling with these childhood memories and lays emphasis on the importance of self-compassion. This in turn leads to a type of acceptance and an acknowledgement of healing that is very well-contained in the short. It is a multi-layered and insightful film that is worth watching.

About the Film Critic
Amber Jackson
Amber Jackson
Short Film
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