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The Clearing

average rating is 3 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Dec 3, 2022

Film Reviews
The Clearing
Directed by:
Daniel Robert Hope
Written by:
Daniel Robert Hope
Julian Barratt, Julia Davis, Louis Vacula-Ashton, Charlotte Morgan

A family holiday in the countryside takes an unexpected turn.


A man named Bill (Barratt), his wife Deb (Davis) and their son George (Ashton) are going on a camping trip. They set up a tent, do some fishing, make a campfire and things appear to be rather normal, apart from the fact that Bill is having hallucinations that involve bubbles and talking fish.


This animated short dark comedy contains animation that consists of stop-motion animation and claymation. The characters and environments look great and the lighting effects and sound effects are quite impressive. Visually, this ten-minute-long film is a treat to the eyes, although, it is not suitable for children and this mainly due to the scenes that involve Bill's illusions, which contain fish that have been sexualised.


Regarding the narrative, it is interesting, with good dialogue, but not particularly exciting. The script explores Bill as a person and the decent relationship he has with his wife. Their son is pretty much left in the background as not a great deal is revealed about him. Basically, the storyline consists of the family proceeding with their outdoor activities, while once in a while, Bill has his bizarre visions. The story is told through his perspective and includes narration.


The voice acting is rather good by everyone and Joseph Guy provides beautiful cinematography. Commendation also goes to Alastair McNamara for the interesting score.


This animated short is a story about family and self-discovery. Viewers will most likely appreciate the creativity that was put into the animation, the sound effects and the music. Whether they will enjoy the storyline depends on the person, however some will probably be offended by the nudity and the events that take place during the ending.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film, Animation
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