Oct 30, 2022
Eric Hanson, Julie Fontenot
A man descends into madness following the passing of his wife.
This short begins light-heartedly, then turns into a drama about loss, before turning into a serial killer horror film.
Jack (Hanson) is a surgeon and he lives happily with his wife (Fontenot). After she tragically loses her life, Jack is devastated and gradually becomes deranged and begins murdering women, keeping some specific body parts for a disturbing reason that he thinks will bring back happiness to him.
Through a non-linear narrative, this rather dark story that brings the viewer into the mind of a man as he turns into a psychopathic killer. He approaches and lures women that (from his point of view) have a special thing that is required in order for him to accomplish something that he believes will bring joy to him. The screenplay reveals the how happy the couple were, indicating that Jack eventually lost his mind due to tremendous grief. The majority of the narrative alternates between the couple enjoying themselves and Jack going after his unsuspecting victims. The film is quite gruesome at times, with scenes of dismemberment that are quite graphic and not for sensitive viewers. Although the killings take place off-screen, the aftermath is enough to disgust and so is the disturbing ending.
Hanson plays his part very well and is convincing and chilling in his portrayal of a person who goes from normal to psychotic. He brings to life the feelings that his character is going through very effectively. He also provides a sort of creepy voice-over, during which he recites poems that seem to be about his character.
The make-up work on the gory stuff deserves a lot of praise, as it is rather realistic.
Maddux also worked on the music, which is one of the film's strongest features. With melodies of violin and piano, the score creates an atmosphere that is sometimes dramatic and sometimes sinister.
The main themes in this short are loss, grief, mental illness, murder and obsession. The gore and dismemberment parts are shocking, however this film is not just about that. Its strength is effectively telling a dark story about a twisted mind.