British horror short Commune is filled with tension, unease, and dread, thanks in large part to the real dilapidated house used for its setting. Writer/director Thomas Perrett discovered the abandoned house at a Halloween party and was inspired to make this creepy short because of that.
Tom (Tom Weller) takes on the task of watching over a run-down 1930s house in north London without pay, but having the chance to live there rent-free. The agent who first tells him about the place tells him it was formerly a commune of some kind, “probably hippies.” Tom’s task is simple: keep watch over the house and make sure squatters don’t settle in there. From his very first night in the house, though, Tom starts to hear noises, and the eeriness only escalates after that.
Tom happens across some spine-chilling flyers, and then finds a homeless man (Robin King) trying to make camp in the backyard. Things go from somewhat inconvenient to terrifying after these discoveries.
Thomas Perrett makes the most of the spooky house and its abandoned artifacts, establishing it as a character in the story and creating a screenplay that does spine-tingling justice to its setting. Impressively framed shots and spine-tingling nighttime tours through the house make for nail-biting moments. Perrett is aided by Tim Gee’s immersive cinematography, Mike Payne’s eldritch score, Robin Green’s unnerving sound design, and some striking visual effects by Laura Perrett. Tom Weller does a fine job as an unassuming man thrust into a fearful setting.
Commune is currently on its film festival run, garnering awards starting with its premiere at the London Independent Film Festival, where it won for Best Short Horror Film. For more information and to check for upcoming festival dates, check the short’s official sites on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CommuneShortFilm and on Twitter at @Commune_Film.
Commune: (4 / 5)