Monday 5 January 2015

Whispering Pines (2012)

Director: John Fraser
Stars: Kristen Cunningham and Nathan Linton
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.
I've been watching quite a lot of Australian horror movies lately and it wouldn't surprise me if there are a bunch of them at the 2015 International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival. Certainly many of the new breed are better than this Aussie short horror movie from 2012, which is capably put together but is also repetitive, internally inconsistent and entirely predictable. There's a mere cast of two, a young couple who start out playing hide and seek within the woods of the title. The setting is pretty cool, the tall pine trees set out in an expansive grid formation that allows the camera to find neat geometric effects. It's daytime; the broad canopy of the trees prompts shade but some of the sun's rays find their way through it to light the scene well. The problem is far more with what we get to watch unfold within it, because it doesn't take much to figure out the entire script from one single shot of the Big Bad Wolf giving chase to Little Red Riding Hood through these whispering pines. Where do you think this is going to lead us?

Well, let's just say that the Big Bad Wolf is the boy in a hoodie and an obvious Hallowe'en werewolf mask while Little Red Riding Hood is his girl in a red cardigan. Eventually she catches him and they get down to some serious necking. It's when they wake up and start again that the real story kicks in, but as I said, no prizes for figuring out what's going to happen. This isn't a bad short, it just isn't a good one either, with a routine script and no real opportunities for the two young actors. In the end, it's only the setting that has any shot at being memorable beyond the next short in the set, given that the forest is a primal location for horror stories and this particular one has opportunities for stylish cinematography. Steven Arriagada does a capable job on that front but fails to make this shine; that he provides surely the most substantial contribution to the short as a whole underlines how lacking it is. Whispering Pines was a couple of years old at the time it screened, but it isn't the age that dates it; it's the lack of ambition.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That's very interesting comments. One question. Retard or incest?