You can speculate about what to expect from Australian director Lucy Gouldthorpe’s short film Grillz from its title and its tagline “Online dating sucks, literally.” If you guessed a horror comedy with a main character who is a certain type of creature of the night, you would be correct. The film offers some clever moments in its approximately five-minute running time that are quite unexpected, however.
Milla (Melanie Irons) is a vampire (sorry for the small spoiler but that is hinted at right away and confirmed within the first minute, to be fair) who seeks out her victims through an online dating service. When she deletes a profile, it’s for good reason. She soon requires more than fresh blood, however, and searches for a dentist from the service’s dating pool. I’ll avoid any more spoilers and simply say that Lucy Gouldthorpe does a fun, first-rate job of bringing Claire D’Este’s playful screenplay to cinematic life.
Melanie Irons is delightful as a vampire with a bit of an insecurity complex about her teeth. She handles Milla’s flirtatious moments and her more insecure ones with equal aplomb. Tosh Greenslade and Jared Goldsmith give amusing performances as two of Milla’s dates. Greenslade inhabits his Graham with a vibe that hints that the character may have a bit of a dark side of his own, while Goldsmith plays DerwentParkDreamBoat, a seemingly shallow fellow who can’t seem to get past Milla’s dental shortcomings.
Grillz is a horror comedy that offers a lot of charm and heart with its wit and bloodletting. I recommend it for when viewers are in a light-hearted mood but still want something that packs a bit of bite.
Grillz screened at the Scream Queen Filmfest Tokyo tour event in Nagoya, Japan, in February 2016.
Grillz: (3 / 5)