Dances With Films Short Film Review: HIDDEN DAYLIGHT (2016)

Welcome witches and warlocks,

Today I will be reviewing the horror short HIDDEN DAYLIGHT by director Adrienne Lovette. To best describe the story, I will turn to the IMDB plot summary:

“When his wife is abducted by a sadistic killer, a distraught businessman seeks answers from a blind psychic who can see through the eyes of the killer.” 

With only two lines of dialogue, the opening scene manages to set up a great deal of tension. Part of this comes from the strained music which promises something sinister is lurking beneath the surface, while the rest comes from the curiosity stirred in the audience as to what is about to transpire. From a purely attention grabbing standpoint, this opening is incredibly effective at making sure the viewer wants to see the direction of this story.

The plot itself is interesting, though not anything so new that we have not see many of the same beats in the past. While I could get annoyed that there are many common tropes present, this flaw was easy to overlook due to the compact, seventeen minute run time. What I did find an issue is that the ending had almost no closure, so it felt like this was merely set up for a full length feature.

If they did decide to turn this into a bonafide feature film, the casting of the two leads should remain absolutely unchanged as both give convincing performances. In fact, watching these actors play off of one another proved to be one of the most compelling parts of the short, even though a good portion of the run time was devoted to flashbacks. Those moments where we were in the present were pure gold as the level of desperation felt by the businessman set a tense atmosphere that was only further compounded by the blind psychic’s visions.

All in all, this is a slim, tense short that wins points for convincing character interactions. While the plot itself might not be new, the constant forward momentum keeps us entertained until the finale. Fans of STIR OF ECHOES (1999) or THE GIFT (2000) will find this to be just as enjoyable and much more compact.

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