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The Glade

average rating is 3 out of 5


Chris Buick


Posted on:

Feb 18, 2024

Film Reviews
The Glade
Directed by:
Harvey Gardner, Arthur Johnson
Written by:
Harvey Gardner, Arthur Johnson
Mackenzie Paterson, Gilly Gilchrist

While looking to offload the corpse of his latest victim in a remote glade, young serial killer Louis (Paterson) is shocked to find someone else is also using his hiding spot.


The Glade is not a film with a lot of bells and whistles. A single location, two characters (one of whom doesn’t say much of anything) and a handful of camera angles to showcase it all. It’s not terribly exciting but it is compelling, and this commendable short is clear in its idea and precise in its execution.


As mentioned, the film comprises of two men in a field who happen to be burying their respective bodies in the same place. After initial high tensions they realise the quid pro quo situation at play here, and things start to calm down a bit. What unveils is essentially a seven-minute, one act play that builds steadily in tension and anticipation, drawing you in to the point where you simply have to find out where it’s all leading to. It's abundantly clear from the off that there is another shoe hanging precariously somewhere, ready to come crashing down at any moment, but Gardner and Johnson make us wait for, and most importantly, want it.


It’s a testament to both Gardner and Johnson, who as well as sharing all the relevant duties; director, writer etc., clearly collaborate well and are able to be clear and confident in the films they want to make, the stories they want to tell, and how they want to tell them. It’s a well-written script that despite the tension, manages to inject little bits of humour into the macabre as well, there is just something inherently funny about two men having an awkward chit-chat while trying to bury their respective bodies, and those moments of levity give the mood of the film a good balance.


As a two-hander it mostly works, King’s Louis is full of cheeky charisma, that of a young man infinitely sure of himself, feeling almost untouchable in everything he does, but with a motor mouth that can go on for days, whereas Gilchrist’s “Quiet Man” is very much the antithesis of all that, unsettlingly quiet, brooding and giving nothing away. It’s that juxtaposition of Louis’ irritating nature against the man’s palpable silence that gives the film that edge and letting them be the focus and the ones to drive the film’s tension higher and higher is a smart choice. One’s patience might be wearing a bit thin towards the closing minutes as we’re waiting for that aforementioned shoe to finally hit us, but the film does just get across the line before that patience starts to run out and in the end walks out with its head held high.


Short and punchy with a clear direction and purpose, without ever dazzling The Glade delivers solid performances, focused storytelling and admirable technical filmmaking.

About the Film Critic
Chris Buick
Chris Buick
Short Film
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