[Review] Black Moon (Morbido Film Festival): Good Samaritan Finds Herself Trapped in a Tunnel of Terror

Few things in horror films beat that cathartic moment of a good comeuppance to a villain, and few are more disturbing than an innocent person falling into a dangerous situation when they merely tried to help someone. The latter of these cases is the situation for the protagonist in director Ryan Gaff’s short film Black Moon.

Fabienne Tournet stars as a woman — established as a mother walking home to see her youngsters in the opening moments — who hears the cries of a child in a pedestrian tunnel upon which she happens. Being a good samaritan, she goes inside to check on the child’s safety, which becomes her undoing, because this incident occurs on the night of a black moon, which, as the film supposes, some people believe is a night of supernatural activity.

Black Moon is, for the most part, a one-hander set in a single location. Gaff, who wrote the story for the short with Daneil Shafer penning the screenplay, mines the simple-sounding situation for all it is worth in the short’s eight-minute running time. He builds suspense wondrously, capitalizing on the fears of being in an unfamiliar space and of something unexplainable and seemingly irrational happening. Tournet gives a fine performance as a woman who is wary of entering the space but does so with the intent of helping another person. She shows different, growing levels of fear for her character, which also helps to heighten the film’s dizzying sense of mounting panic and terror.

For more information and updates about Black Moon, visit Instagram: @BlackMoonShort and Facebook:  www.facebook.com/BlackMoonShort.

Black Moon screens at Morbido Film Festival, which runs in Mexico City from October 30–November 3.

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.