Monsters lurking under the bed or waiting patiently in the closet to terrorize children after their parents fall asleep are a concern to kids of all kinds around the world. Writer/director/producer Greg Jeffs brilliantly offers a new spin on this universal fear in his marvelous new short It’s All in Your Head (Canada, 2016). This film gets everything right in virtually every area, so expect a flurry of superlatives ahead.
The short is narrated by Mama (voiced by Maureen Jones), who tells, in poetic bedtime-story-style form, the tale of young Sara Lynn (Addison Jeffs, the filmmaker’s daughter). This little girl believes that creatures live in the dark places in her bedroom but grown-ups tell her otherwise. She decides to bravely face her fears head on one night. It’s All in Your Head boasts some delightful surprises as it follows Sara Lynn’s heroic journey. Jones’ narration is pitch perfect and Addison Jeffs gives an enchanting performance as the young heroine.
Greg Jeffs’s poetic narrative is clever and thrilling, helping to set the tone of this short along with an amazing fantastical atmosphere. Production designers Jerod Fahlman and Mike Kasper, together with the rest of their staff, have created a world that is both alive in bright, bold colors and rich in dark tones, as well, sometimes with plumes of smoke and bizarre toys added to the mix. Some outstanding spooky practical creature effects are on display, and Regan Enderl’s cinematography captures all of the subtleties and action expertly. It’s All in Your Head is truly a family affair, as Greg’s wife and Addison’s mother Colette Jeffs is a coproducer on the short.
It’s All in Your Head is one of those rare modern films that plays equally well to viewers of all ages. It’s spooky enough to have young ones on the edges of their seats and watching through splayed fingers, and it provides some nostalgic chills for adults, too. It is free of graphic violence, gore, nudity, and other excesses, choosing instead to work on our primal fear that terrible, nonhuman monsters await us in the dark of night. Parents who are fright-fare fans should seek out It’s All in Your Head during its current festival run (for more information, check out www.monstersarenotreal.com or www.facebook.com/monstersarenotreal) to see if it might be the type of gateway horror film that got them interested in the horror genre when they were children, especially if they wish to make the fun side of scary movies an ongoing family tradition.
It’s All in your Head: (5 / 5)