Short films can be hit or miss, sometimes they can leave us wanting more whereas other times they can leave us feeling confused and disappointed.  The majority of time, short films leave me thoroughly entertained; however, once in a blue moon, I will watch a short that leaves me craving for more.  A perfect example of that scenario would be director L. Gustavo Cooper’s latest short, THE HOME. What makes this short so great is that within a time span of 7 minutes it elicited fear, horror, laughter (okay, nervous laughter), and complete satisfaction.

THE HOME features Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes) as a pregnant woman confined to a religious establishment for unwed mothers.  The home is run by Father Michael (Andy McPhee) who outwardly has a stern demeanor but also a deep affection for these young women and their care.  The house, though it looks more like a church, is situated in what I would think to be an Irish landscape, though at this time of year, is covered with mounds of snow.  As evening creeps in, Father Micheal does his final rounds, checking in on the expectant mothers, and making sure all is well.  However, we soon learn that not all is well as our priest begins to suspect an evil presence within the walls of this home.

I truly loved everything about this short and as I mentioned before it was able to elicit an array of emotions in a very short time span. Alex Essoe was absolute perfection and I love seeing her pop up more and more, whether it’s in full length features or short films, as she is definitely a force to be reckoned with.  The atmosphere is one of dread and horror that slinks about the corners of your mind from the opening sequence to the terrifying climax.  Speaking of the ending, it’s one of the most nerve wracking endings I have seen in quite some time.  I felt my heart stop in my chest followed by a smile of satisfaction.  L. Gustavo Cooper didn’t have to rely on gore or jump scares.  He relied on a story that was well written and visuals that allowed our imaginations to run wild.

Overall, this is one of the best horror shorts that I have seen all year.  With most shorts, I’m content to leave them as is but this is one that I want to see a full feature of.  The horrors that could materialize from this story would be wondrous and I hope that THE HOME gets all the recognition it deserves so that it can be a full feature film. All in all this is definitely a horror short that shouldn’t be missed and one that will leave you wanting more.

Shannon McGrew
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