OBSIDIAN is a new short horror film, written and directed by Jessie Seitz. Produced by the same director, Jessie Seitz, and Tobi Rice, who doubles as the special fx artist, it stars Haley Madison, Jim Van Bebber, and J. B. Beverley.
In OBSIDIAN, our two unnamed central characters are assailed by a masked figure through open and closed farmland, in the middle of a country road. A fight for life and death ensues.
The finer points –
The plot is fairly straightforward. Two unnamed characters, as mentioned, are chased by a horrible masked figure. No mention as to how these two found themselves where they are, or who this assailant is. This is fine, given the length of the film and, provided we’re shown enough, the audience doesn’t need to be told. For plot driving in this instance, however, dialogue would have been a welcome assistant. The lack of dialogue or even sound design, apart from music, left a bit of a void in the plot, for want of understanding what was happening on screen. Even something small, like grunting or short bursts of words would have helped in the long run.
The performance on screen worked well enough, to drive the plot at the very least. The actors, in motion, sold enough of their performances to translate to their audience. One particular scene between our heroine and masked figure however, plays out, well, uncomfortably. The physical dialogue between our two actors, as well as the editing, is well too drawn out. It felt odd, and not in any justifiable way.
For production value – well, this was my biggest gripe with the film. The establishing shots are awkward, and most of the editing leaves the plot moving slowly, even for a 7 minute film. I can’t quite put my finger on why exactly the camera work feels the way it does – I’m assuming it has something to do with the equipment used in the making of the movie, but something about it just feels strange. For a horror film, granted, this can be a good thing. In the case of OBSIDIAN, not exactly.
Granted, there is only so much one can do with a short film, whether or not a time restriction is placed on it by the creator or otherwise. To me, OBSIDIAN has it’s intrigue, and with a little more working, could be an interesting short movie. The point it’s at, I would say, it could use a little more construction.
I look forward, perhaps, to a reconstruction.