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average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Jul 11, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Mark Patterson
Written by:
Hendrik Harms
Gracie Leclere, James Viller, Amy Anderson

A 19th century woman starts seeing a ghost.


Francine (Leclere) is unable to leave the large house that she shares in the countryside with her husband Sebastian (Viller) in late 19th century England, as she is in a wheelchair. Sebastian owns factories that manufacture matches and one day he gives his wife a small personalised case that contains matches. Francine soon discovers that each time these matches are lit, they have the ability to summon the spirit of a dead girl (Anderson).


This short period ghost story takes place entirely inside Francine's spacious bedroom and it begins as a drama about a young woman who is unhappy with her current situation, particularly due to her husband's insistence on doing everything for her, making her feel weak and isolated. Things turn towards the supernatural horror genre with a jump scare that catches the viewer completely off guard and from there the plot concentrates on the rapport that develops between Francine and her new friend, unbeknown to Sebastian. The phantom is not hostile, on the contrary it is kind towards Francine, picking up her reading glasses and bringing her flowers among other things. The spectre does not speak and therefore, Francine uses the opportunity to share her thoughts with the otherwordly entity that involve the meaning of love, the loneliness that she feels and her discontent with her husband.


Sebastian serves as the antagonist, keeping his wife isolated from the world and doing almost everything for her, preventing her from having independence. More crucially though, he appears to have quite a dark side as he discreetly places an unknown substance in Francine's drink and the public is suspecting him of operating factories where the working conditions are hazardous.


The ghost girl is the character who steals the show and that is primarily because of her appearance. Her appearance is that of a young girl with pale skin, long black hair and one side of her face badly damaged. Some viewers might think that she bears resemblance to the phantom in The Grudge film series. Although she looks frightening, she seems to be good and eager to help Francine. The way she appears and disappears like smoke is quite impressive and commendations go to the special effects team consisting of Alfie Bacon and Frazer Hopkins.


The production value is rather impressive and the mise-en-scene deserves recognition as it effectively brings the viewer back to the 19th century. The period clothing is quite convincing thanks to the creative work by Sarah Hackett and Alice Lewis and the hairstyle achieves the same standards due to Isabel While's detailed work. The make-up done on the spectre is another aspect that stands out and that is due to the contribution by While, Jennifer Drew and Will Harvey. And all these great features are supported by Dann Emmons' beautiful cinematography.


Composer Justin Bell deserves a great deal of praise for the dramatic, sinister and tense score that is heard throughout the film.


On the surface, this short is a spooky gothic ghost story. However, it is perhaps mostly a story about support and understanding, about an extraordinary encounter that blossoms into a strong friendship that ends up being beneficial to both Francine and the spirit. With an intriguing narrative, strong acting and interesting characters, this is a viewing that is highly recommended.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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