Tuesday 6 January 2015

Bright Eyes (2013)

Director: Jamie Rivera
Stars: Scarlett O'Neil and Robert Davis
This film was an official selection at the 10th annual International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival in Phoenix in 2014. Here's an index to my reviews of 2014 films.
It says a lot about the Horror Shorts B set at this year's International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival that this four minute riff on a single joke was easily my favourite out of the first half a dozen films. I'd enjoyed the first set but, as much as I appreciated that there was a second set to accompany it for the first time in a few years, it disappointed me right out of the gate and seemed intent on doing so all the way. This one is far from groundbreaking cinema but it's aware, so it settles down to do its one thing right. I was thankful for that; it brought me my first real smile of the set, four films in, and it sustained me at least a little over the next pair. So thank you, writer/director Jamie Rivera, former Not Quite Dead zombie and former editor and cinematographer for Eva's Light, for keeping me going. Thank you too, actress Scarlett O'Neil, former blood spattered bikini girl in Piranha and former leading lady in Second Chances, for really staying in the moment for way longer than anyone should ever have to do so. And thank you, actor Robert Davis, for...

Well, as much as we spend almost the whole film with O'Neil front and foremost, stuck in that serial killer movie moment where you're alone and scantily clad in your own house and just convinced that there's a crazy lunatic right behind you, Davis is... well, he's the crazy lunatic right behind her and he's who we're watching throughout. He has a huge hat, a long white wig and the de rigeur scary clown mask and you'll have to watch the movie yourself to find out what he does while O'Neil wonders if he's there or not. That is the entire point of the movie; there's no twist like in Whispering Pines, no freaky historical source like Edward the Damned and no subversive programming like Tasha and Friends. There's just a bunch of fun surrounding that one joke and whether this film will work for you will depend on whether you find Smilin' Jack, the Masked Killer, funny or not. If you don't, this will be a waste of four minutes of your life, but the rest of us, waiting for a great movie in this set, were very happy indeed for his shenanigans.

Bright Eyes can be watched for free on YouTube.

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