is not the New Yankee Workshop. For one thing, it happens to be in Australia.
It also seems to be the scene of some uncanny goings-on in Natalie Erika James’
short film Creswick (trailer here), which screens
during the Melbourne International Film Festival.
never felt comfortable in her father Colin’s cabin-workshop-home, but she never
really understood why. Nevertheless, she is somewhat sad to return as a grown
adult to help him close-up and move out of the property. However, he finally
realizes what unsettled her as a child. Rugged old Colin is convinced there is
another entity haunting the space.
only ten minutes long, Creswick is a
terrific example of economical and evocative story telling. Thanks to the smart
disciplined performances of Dana Miltins and Chris Orchard, the audience
quickly picks up on the loving but somewhat strained nature of their
relationship. They are perfectly in-synch and they bring us up to speed
quickly. (Frankly, it is just refreshing to see a supernatural film that does
not eventually expose the father as a pedophile for a change.)
is also cool whenever a horror film credits a furniture designer—in this case
Isabel Avendano. Her chairs really help make the film (you’ll understand when
you see them). Japanese-Australian filmmaker James (who also produced Qiu Yang’s
Slamdance-selected short Under the Sun)
masterful controls the mood of foreboding and steadily dials up the tension.
For most of the film, she relies on suggestion, but there is a nice bit of
practical effects down the stretch.
Quite impressive, the world of Creswick could easily be expanded for
feature treatment. Highly recommended for fans of The Conjuring, Creswick screens
today, or is it already yesterday (8/6) and this Monday (8/8), as part of the Accelerator 1 short film block at this
Labels: Australian cinema, Horror Movies, MIFF '16, Short Films