Shannon Reviews the Horror Short "Happy Birthday, Brenda" from Director Rory Abel

When it comes to finding the perfect gift, it can be a challenge.  You want to make sure that you get that special someone a gift that no one else will give them.  It has to be loving and unique, but most importantly, straight from the heart.  In Director Rory Abel’s latest short film, “Happy Birthday, Brenda”, we see a loving husband gives his wife the ultimate birthday gift, which results in some devastating consequences.  

From start to finish, “Happy Birthday, Brenda” is a solid horror short.  It’s shot in the style of found footage, and before you start complaining about how oversaturated the horror genre is with found footage films, relax.  The style actually works tremendously well for this 15 minute film.  The birthday celebration is intimate, with essentially two people involved, and they want to record this very special moment for future viewing.  Though I was able to figure out early on where the story was going, it didn’t deter me from watching.  If anything, it held my attention as I wanted to see how the scenario(s) would ultimately play out.  

The two main actors, Cristina Lippolis (who plays Brenda Sykes) and Theodore Copeland (who plays the husband Harold Sykes) are fantastic and keep the story moving along till the bloody end.  What really set “Happy Birthday, Brenda” apart from other horror shorts that I have seen as of late is Brenda.  Her character is strong-minded and she is able to prove that she can run with the big boys.  I don’t want to give anything away about her character, but it was refreshing to see a female take the lead in a role that is typically designated for men.  

Overall, I was really impressed with “Happy Birthday, Brenda” and enjoyed watching the story unfold.  It was a simple premise that was executed flawlessly with no over-the-top gimmicks to try and distract the audience.  As of right now, there is no official release dates but make sure you keep an eye out for “Happy Birthday, Brenda” during the festival circuit runs in October.  To learn more about “Happy Birthday, Brenda” you can visit their official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Happy-Birthday-Brenda.