“Commune” (2016): Real-Life Abandoned House Makes for Disturbing Setting in Eerie Horror Short

British horror short Commune is filled with tension, unease, and dread, thanks in large part to the real dilapidated house used for its setting. Writer/director Thomas Perrett discovered the abandoned house at a Halloween party and was inspired to make this creepy short because of that.

Tom (Tom Weller) takes on the task of watching over a run-down 1930s house in north London without pay, but having the chance to live there rent-free. The agent who first tells him about the place tells him it was formerly a commune of some kind, “probably hippies.” Tom’s task is simple: keep watch over the house and make sure squatters don’t settle in there. From his very first night in the house, though, Tom starts to hear noises, and the eeriness only escalates after that.

Tom (Tom Weller) takes on the task of watching over a dilapidated north London house in writer/director Thomas Perrett’s  Commune.

Tom happens across some spine-chilling flyers, and then finds a homeless man (Robin King) trying to make camp in the backyard. Things go from somewhat inconvenient to terrifying after these discoveries.

Thomas Perrett makes the most of the spooky house and its abandoned artifacts, establishing it as a character in the story and creating a screenplay that does spine-tingling justice to its setting. Impressively framed shots and spine-tingling nighttime tours through the house make for nail-biting moments. Perrett is aided by Tim Gee’s immersive cinematography, Mike Payne’s eldritch score, Robin Green’s unnerving sound design, and some striking visual effects by Laura Perrett. Tom Weller does a fine job as an unassuming man thrust into a fearful setting.

Tom makes disturbing discoveries inside the house.

Commune is currently on its film festival run, garnering awards starting with its premiere at the London Independent Film Festival, where it won for Best Short Horror Film. For more information and to check for upcoming festival dates, check the short’s official sites on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CommuneShortFilm and on Twitter at @Commune_Film.

Commune: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.