Saturday 21 July 2012

Bad Moon Rising (2009)

Director: Scott Hamilton
Stars: Anthony Edwards, Todd Levi and Jared Robinsen
This film was an official selection at the 8th annual International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival in Scottsdale in 2012. Here's an index to my reviews of 2012 films.
Only eight minutes long, this Aussie short manages to merge two genres very well indeed. For a little while, it's a tough thriller centered around an interrogation. The man chained to a chair in a presumably remote location is Adam and the man beating him up is Rico, who obviously relishes his work. Calling the shots is Chastel, as calm and professional as Rico is wilful and sadistic. Todd Levi and Jared Robinsen make for a believable pairing, different but consistent, and it's easy to see how they'd make a successful team in this line of work. Sure enough, Adam eventually cracks under their attentions and tells them everything they want to know, but naturally Rico carries on anyway, just for the fun of it, leaving his victim bloody and unconscious. That's when we shift from thriller to horror because the full moon shining through the bars of the window rejuvenates our hostage by transforming him into a werewolf. And so the tables are turned.

This is a simple little short with very little plot to speak of. It's much more of a vignette than a story, with the scene set immediately, a change introduced halfway and the actors tasked with changing with it. What there is is handled well. The acting is confident and assured, each of the three dealing capably with their changes in fortune, Anthony Edwards being especially solid as a believable victim who transforms well into something very different. The effects are excellent, both the creature work and the violence. The scenes in the dark are clean and well shot. It's all done about as well as something that has so little to say can be done. Sure, some of the setups are expected but they're still done well for that and it remains stylish and effective throughout. Writers Scott and Peter Hamilton, presumably relatives, have three films behind them that look far less traditional than this one. I wonder if this was aimed at being more than just a vignette.

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