Happy horrorthon! This episode followed the trend of the second story being the better of the two, but really it showcases a two short films every week. I never really watched short films before because they sounded impossible You have twenty minutes or less to put a story together and give it some heft. It’s interesting to see how it’s accomplished. Short stories are one thing, but a film has establish shots and tension in short order…pun intended.
The stories tend to be very straight forward; you really can’t spoil them. The Companion- a boy makes a Golem who kills his mean brother. Lydia Lane’s Better Half- Lydia is trapped in an elevator with a woman she killed. Yes, the second one is better. I like that elevator horror is slowly becoming a sub-genre, but does everyone have to be crushed between floors?
The Companion opens with a teenager who is repeatedly abused by his older brother. This changes when he goes to a farm and finds a Golem-Scarecrow. At first, the Golem wants to kill him because he isn’t holding a magical cane…really. The deceased farmer in the story created the Golem because after his wife passed, he was lonely; so, he created a Golem-Scarecrow….as you do. Well, the Golem murders people if they aren’t holding his dead wife’s cane. Whatevs. As with most of the first stories, the acting was fine and the story was fine. Not great, but it did allow me to pass the time during physical therapy exercises.
The second story starred one of my favorite actresses and people- Tricia Helfer. I loved her in BSG, she’s great in Burn Notice and Lucifer, and she does the Tulip Ride for the Seattle Humane Society. She has the drive and talent of a million people, which means that there are 999,999 very sad lazy people out there because of Tricia Helfer. This short film was no different! She plays Lydia Lane, a high-powered CEO, who passes over her protege Celia for a CFO position. Later, a struggle ensues and Celia gets accidentally impaled in the head with a glass award killing Celia and she needs to get the body out of the office building and hide it. She seems to be getting close to an escape until an earthquake causes the elevator to stop. UH OH.
After Celia’s death, there’s virtually no monologue or dialogue. Tricia Helfer has to deliver suspense and fear with movement and facial expressions alone- she does. It becomes a one-woman show …. except for Celia who is a possible zombie, but it could also be that Lydia is losing her mind and it’s this ambiguity that makes the story really pop. The direction by Roxanne Benjamin was excellent as well. She has a great future in both action and horror.
These stories are really important because they are great and they give opportunities to new directors with a lot of talent!