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Hal MacDermot [Film Festival 10.19.08] review short horror

Year: 2008
Director: Rory Kindersley & Jason Noto
Writers: Rory Kindersley & Jason Noto
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: cyberhal
Rating: 9 out of 10

New England in 1699, a boy and a girl and a big wooden house in the woods. Beautifully shot in pastels and muted colors. Butcher's Hill is a simple story, brilliantly executed, with a wonderfully bloody and unhappy ending. I loved it.

The children dare to enter the inviting empty house and in the kitchen, there's a table overflowing with delicious sugar sprinkled cakes and pastries. The hungry kids plow in. Hello Hansel and Gretel. There's a cauldron boiling on the kitchen fire and that witch has got to be somewhere. It's about now that the little girl discovers something like the end of a human finger in her jam pastry. Mmm.

An average fairy tale? Yes, until the moment when the leper like creature in rags bursts on the scene to decapitate the little boy against the wall with a meat cleaver, so quickly that his eyes still seem to think he's alive as his bleeding body smears down the wall, with only a few ropes of blood and flesh to connect the two (at least for few slow motion seconds). Now it's the girls turn to run. She scrambles around the kitchen and somehow makes in to the front door and outside. Where to now? Where to run? Too late. The creature in rags bursts out the house, gathers the little girl up, and drags her into the house. The door closes and the screaming continues a little. Cut to leper witch dropping a girls shoe down an empty well.

Butcher's Hill is a gem of a short. The production values are as high as a wide release feature. The direction captures beautifully the exploration of childhood and the onslaught of evil experience (hello William Blake's poetry). After the movie, I managed to exchange a few words with the filmmakers, who said they plan to develop the short into a full feature. BD reported back in March that Clive Barker's company was checking out the script, but I didn't get the chance to confirm this. But I do know that it's worth attending film festivals exactly for this kind of Short. Well done lads!

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mez (13 years ago) Reply

i ve seen an extended preview for this, which is not available anywhere on the web, at a talk with one of the producers. the thing that stood out most for me was the cinematography and the set design. the shots looked beautiful. not too sure on the storyline and the "monster" but it sure is a good piece of work.

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