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average rating is 4 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

May 30, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
George Coley
Written by:
Anna Armstrong, George Coley
Joshua Katembela, Sandra Voe, Graham O Mara

The writer-director George Coley and Anna Armstrong together build up an interesting script to incorporate the horror element effectively while delivering an extremely crucial message that comes with the latter part of life. Joshua Katembela, Graham O Mara, and Sandra Voe play their parts with utmost conviction helping the audience increase the degree of engagement from the very beginning.


The plot of Leech revolves around an elderly woman who is unaware of the stranger secretly nested in her home. Her carer thinks she lives alone when he visits the stranger disappears. But as peculiar details reveal themselves around the house, the carer’s suspicions lead him to uncover the disturbing secret hidden within.


The short film opens with a black screen coupled with television tuning into various channels. A series of long shots capture the regular lifestyle of an elderly blind woman along with the mysterious presence of a stranger in her house. The set design, black, white; and brown colour palette, combination of natural as well as dim lighting, sound, dialogues, costume, hair, makeup, and props are carefully curated to elevate the sense of fear as well as mystery among the viewers keeping them curious all through 10 minutes of its running time. George Coley along with his crew includes illustrations, conversations, and placements of props that grip the audience from the very beginning adding realism to the way of storytelling.


In the performance department, Joshua Katembela plays Callum a carer from Steady Care who comes to help her with the basic chores of the household. Katembela beautifully portrays Callum’s soft side but also showcases that he is well aware of his surroundings at the same time and no one can fool him easily. The young actor builds up an emotional connection with the audience he enters the frame and shares the screen with his Co-stars using body language, voice modulation, facial expressions, and eyes so that the viewers tend to stay with the character for a while after they have finished watching the movie.

Sandra Voe plays Mary the elderly blind woman who needs assistance of carers especially after the passing away of her darling husband John. The senior actress brings out how peaceful Mary feels in her house despite the day-to-day life struggles along with the impending danger of a stranger living with her. Voe understands the nuances of her character and makes sure that she portrays it in such a way that it makes the viewers feel proud and they get inspired by Mary instead of pity.

Graham O Mara plays the role of the person who lives with this old blind woman for benefits unknown to the viewers. O Mara without even a single dialogue depicts the villain as per what the director wants from him managing to get the desired reaction of fear, thrill, mystery, and expressing dislike towards this stranger. Graham O Mara proved with his acting skills that subtle antagonists can also compliment the narrative to deliver the key messages provided the character arcs are well written.


Leech talks about the importance of a sense of belongingness and preserving memories that would help people survive life in general when it becomes monotonous and tedious especially when loneliness hits one harder as an elderly person. The short film reiterates that sometimes even good deeds can put oneself in a situation that can prove detrimental so it is better to make decisions with the mind instead of the heart. The cinematic piece highlights the significance of the role of friends and family is to safeguard someone from the potential dangers hovering over them continuously.


About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film
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