Admonition, director Alexander Mattingly’s eighth and latest short film, is an eerie work that hangs heavy with dread throughout. Low-key lighting and effective use of shadows — as well as portraying something just beyond those shadows — helps mount a macabre atmosphere, and having one of the lead characters being deaf adds a sense of confusion to the proceedings.
Adrienne King of Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part 2 fame plays a dying woman who believes that the Devil is coming after her. She conveys this to her deaf daughter (Lindsey Shope, who also starred in Alexander Mattingly’s previous horror short The Thin Place, reviewed at Gruesome Magazine here), who at first tries to comfort her mother, but soon sees bizarre occurences herself. Both actors are superb, with King showing frailty and fragility in her role, along with a touch of bravery. Shope gives a fine turn in her performance, relying on facial expressions and body language to impart her character’s confusion and mounting fear.
The nearly dialogue-free screenplay was written by Joe Hemphill, a frequent collaborator of Alexander Mattingly’s, including on the aforementioned The Thin Place. He does a fine job here, laying the groundwork for Mattingly to create a brooding, eerie setting in the women’s home. Cinematographer Jeremy Bolden turns in impressive work, as well.
Admonition is about to start the film festival circuit rounds, and it is absolutely a chilling effort that readers should seek out when it comes their way. For more information, visit the film’s official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AdmonitionMovie/.
(4 / 5)