Greetings readers! As the journey to finding that dream film reviewing career I am seeking continues, the world of Twitter has shown to be a constant source of making connections in the film world, especially among indie filmmakers and their current projects. In some cases, as those who have been following me over the last 3 months in particular have been witness to, the chances to be provided with screening copies of said projects to view and REVIEW have come in rather steadily. So, I bring you the results of yet another opportunity that emerged thanks to such a connection, the new Short Film….”Special”.
SEE THE TRAILER HERE
This short, 8+ minute film, written and directed by Mikeal Burgin, takes us into the world of a frantic mother (Rachel Wells) and father (Daniel Hampel) speaking to a pair of detectives (Ben Rollins & Lou Bolster) about the sudden disappearance of their daughter (Kaylynn Burgin). While the two are grilled by the detectives who are trying to assure them their daughter will be located and brought back to them, the scenes then shift to a dank basement where the viewer is privy to the missing girl’s whereabouts and the initial intentions of her kidnapper/captor (Jeb Makula). Scared and knowing a not so good fate awaits given a “plaything” (Rebecca Weber) he leaves with her, the scenes begin to shift back and forth between the police station and the basement, as new facts are revealed, doubts are cast on the parents’ potential involvement, the girl’s potential fate is expanded on even more thanks to the appearance of a “broker” (Deborah Kennedy), and things are looking bleak….until a specific, game-changing revelation is made that causes the WHOLE situation to take a drastic and deadly turn. Further expounding on this would constitute a MAJOR spoiler, and I keep to my promise of NOT going there.
The horror genre is not in ITSELF one that I tend to gravitate to, and will often avoid more often than not. It takes a certain TYPE of delivery, execution of story, content, and overall atmosphere to grab me enough to admit liking a tale in this vein. Folks, I have to be honest here…..this was 8 minutes that COULD have been “typical” of the genre and instead, for this viewer, completely surprised me with the twist it had and THAT alone made this effort WORTH its salt. There’s a lot of information packed into this, but the payoff is PERFECT and allows for the maximum impact to be experienced by us as the viewers. Kaylynn Burgin ultimately becomes THE centerpiece of this, and that’s not discounting the other actors here at all, but it is HER performance that gives the punch to the plot and the direction Mikeal Burgin took this project in. The film is well shot for such a short piece, the sets are stark and rather bare, which really fits the mood intended. The overall acting, again, was fine for what it needed to be by all involved. And of course, people, YES, it DOES get bloody….but somehow for a relative non-genre fan as myself, it DIDN’T feel gratuitous, but rather provided a potent and not TOO graphic exclamation point to the whole scenario. A solid indie effort that I can see having film festival audiences cheering and judges applauding. It’s one of those reminders that as is often true in real life…things are not ALWAYS as they appear.
You can keep track of this project and other projects by Mikeal Burgin and his production company Okapi Pictures via the following ways:
As always, this is all for YOUR consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!