Short films are at their best when they leave you wanting more, but not needing more. Unfortunately with Alex Noyer’s CONDUCTOR viewers are left in the lurch with the latter.

While the logic of the story may not entirely pay off, what does is the emotional build and the characters mini arcs. I love horror that plays with viewers expectations, creating questions without overtly asking them. When done well, like it has been here, it builds an air of tension. The execution of setting – a seemingly safe and familiar environment of a blindingly white suburban mall – leaves viewers almost tantalized, wondering how anything horrifying could be birthed here. By the end we are undoubtedly proven wrong.

We find our main character, Josh (Michael Maclane) attempting to win a music contest for a state of the art DJ mixer. Playing off his performance are two other characters Alexis (Kelli Jordan) and Logan (Joshua Canada). What seems like a simple promotional event turns unexpectedly darker.

Making up for what it lacks are a talented set of actors, pin point cinematography (Kyle Smolic), and a final scene that will leave gore lovers in a refectory period of pure satisfaction. A great deal of care and attention was put into this short, which is not always true in horror shorts. Everyone in this project is obviously quite talented, and I will be intrigued to see any future project they delve into. Until then, just enjoy the DJs beat…

CONDUCTOR will play at the Film Quest Film Festival September 14, 2018.

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