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St. Augustine

Critic:

Jason Knight

|

Posted on:

13 Jan 2022

Film Reviews
St. Augustine
Directed by:
Andy Kastelic
Written by:
Andy Kastelic
Starring:
Julia Lee Romero, Andy Kastelic
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A dark and moving tale about a vampire couple who attempt to track down the child they gave away.

 

This short film has a nonlinear narrative, constantly cutting back and forth through time. The main characters are Abraham (Kastelic), who is a vampire and Lottie (Romero), a young woman who is turned into a vampire by Abraham. The narrative moves fast and covers a great deal in fourteen minutes. Some events include the two leads meeting for the first time at a carnival where Abraham performs, Lottie requesting that she becomes a vampire, Lottie giving birth, Abraham locating a person who knows the whereabouts of their child and a man being killed in a motel.

 

This short could be described as a love story, a horror film, a drama and a road movie. It is a journey about love, support, desperation, about wanting to feel complete. The audience follows the struggles the two protagonists go through that involve Lottie becoming a vampire, deciding that she wants her child back and her and Abraham travelling by car to their child's location. The atmosphere is almost constantly melancholic and there are distressing and brutal scenes that involve gore. Generally, the viewer is given the impression that being a vampire is a bleak and lonely life filled with death and danger.

 

Dialogue is limited and the audience relies mostly on the performer's expressions in order to understand their feelings and both protagonists deliver great performances. Romero is very convincing as she brings to life the emotions that her character is going through and she effectively portrays Lottie as fragile and dangerous. Kastelic is terrific as a seasoned vampire who supports Lottie and both him and Romero provide voice-over.

 

Regarding the music, it consists of dramatic tracks from a variety of artists and their addition provides significant power to the scenes.

 

Director of photography Jannis Schelenz does an amazing job and creates wonderful cinematography. Aleka Kastelic is responsible for the makeup, hair and costume design, all of which looks great. Particular acknowledgement goes to the eyes of the vampires that occasionally turn black. Andy Kastelic does a great job with the directing and develops wonderful establishing shots and scenes that involve slow motion.

 

This is a short film that had a lot of hard work put into it and the result shows that. It presents an emotional and brutal story, depicting vampires as savage creatures but also vulnerable. With stunning visuals, superb acting and an intriguing plot, this achievement has the viewer's attention from start to finish and offers a rather memorable experience.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film