Sunday 3 August 2008

Keepsake (2006)

A black and white short film that I picked up from one of the directors (I think) at the Phoenix International horror festival last year, this is quite an interesting little piece. Only eight minutes long, I was surprised to find that the DVD also contained a trailer. A trailer for an eight minute film? That seems a little excessive, but hey, needs must. It also contains a very nicely put together title sequence that impressed very much, with the credited names appearing from behind one tree as the camera pans only to disappear behind another.

Unfortunately the film proper isn't as impressive, but it's still a worthy little short that does far more than it should given its inherent limitations. It's a story about a killer who murders a young lady Dexter-style, in a house textured in cellophane. We don't see who he is during the murder, or even as he leaves the house, and nobody speaks, so the violence is just there wanting some sort of context which is denied us. Only when he returns home do we hear a TV evangelist telling us that God wants blood, thus presumably providing a motive, and a view of his face as he leans over to kiss his sleeping wife.

It's a low budget affair, that's for sure. There are only three people in the film, one of whom is asleep (two are credited: Kyle Riley and Samantha Agnew) and the only speech comes from the TV. The story is basic, as it would have to be to fit in eight minutes, and there's some experimental editing going on. Some of it works very well, some of it not quite so well, and the ending seems a little strange unless the wife is in on what hubby gets up to. How many wives wouldn't notice something like that in a place like that? Mostly though I enjoyed the opening credits and the deliberate withholding of context.

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