“The Thin Place” (2016): A Mother and Daughter Are Haunted by a Terrifying Presence in This Supernatural Suspenser

In the tense, scary horror short The Thin Place, a mother is skeptical about her teenaged daughter’s story of being spirited away for two minutes every night until she witnesses the phenomenon for herself. Director Alexander Mattingly masterfully directs this film, steadily building the suspense and eeriness and delivering a finished product that had me on the edge of my seat throughout its approximately 15-minute running time.

Maddy (Kelsey Blackwell) tells her mother Arlene (Lindsey Shope) that at 3:07 every night, she is taken away by a presence that wants to take her place. A frazzled Arlene initially disbelieves her but comes to realize that the girl’s fear is real. As she attempts to uncover the mystery of her daughter’s story, she is quickly thrust into the dangerous, frightening occurrences that are taking place in her own house. Shope and Blackwell are marvelous. Their relationship feels true; equally believable are their portrayals of distress and fear.

Arlene (Lindsey Shope) senses something out of the ordinary in her daughter’s bedroom in the eerie short The Thin Place.

Working from a taut screenplay by Joe Hemphill, Alexander Mattingly frames his shots beautifully and shows a deft sense for building tension. S.T. Davis’s cinematography is fabulous. The camera moves slowly on occasion, allowing events to unfold at a consistently augmented pace. There’s no rush to shock or startle; Mattingly and Hemphill pace things so that dread and fear take hold before shifting into higher gears. This is classic something-terribly-wrong-in-the-house storytelling done wonderfully well.

Now that The Thin Place has completed its award-winning film festival run, you can watch it online at https://vimeo.com/181324151. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/TheThinPlaceMovie/.

Arlene comes face to face with a terrifying presence.

Alexander Mattingly and Joe Hemphill’s next film, Admonition, is currently in preproduction, with filming set to take place at the end of April. Legendary horror actress Adrienne King (Alice in the original Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part 2) will appear alongside Lindsey Shope. Admonition is the story of a deaf woman, Leah, (Shope), caring for her dying mother, Theresa, (King), who one night warns her daughter that the devil is coming for her.  The filmmakers hope to have everything completed in time for so that they can submit the short for this year’s horror festival season, and are therefore pushing for an October release. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/AdmonitionMovie/.

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.