Once again, I have the pleasure of reviewing another great short in 2016. From what I’ve already seen this year, I can honestly say that Play Violet For Me stands out on a number of unique levels. The film’s distinctive properties lead you down a twisted rabbit hole: one that branches into a multitude of film genres. Combining classic noir with a dreamscape atmosphere, this short will leave the viewer mesmerized, questioning the character’s motives and the underlying state of the film’s core.
Directed by Matt Mercer and written by Kevin Sluder, Play Violet For Me taps into the subconscious of the main character, Foley (also played by Matt Mercer), whose differentiating struggle between reality and fantasy becomes entangled in a murderous game of infatuation. The line between what is and what isn’t blurs itself nicely alongside actress Najarra Townsend, playing twin’s Lyla and Violet, creating a purposefully unsolvable and puzzling crime.
I’ve seen this short several times now, and it gets better every time I see it. The atmospheric, dream-like state instantly hooked my attention, as I am very drawn to surrealist sequences. To me, the ambiance of Play Violet For Me was reminiscent of one of my favorite horror flicks titled, Parents (1989), which almost share a similar tonality. Another aspect I like is the viewer’s involvement: you, as the spectator, become engulfed in the plot, acting almost as a detective who pieces together the dark scenarios placed before them.
Overall, Play Violet For Me is a well-made short film with a great cast, along with having good, professional direction. It is a film that has you contemplating it after the fact; dissecting each part separately to piece together your own interpretation. If you enjoy a modern take on noir with a twist of blurred reality, then I highly recommend this short film.