With Residual, French writer/director Damien Kazan has crafted a taut 14-minute chiller that combines a classic slasher film chase sequence with a bit of the supernatural. The result is a nifty short chock full of striking images and nail-biting moments.
Sam Cavalier stars as Jay, a young woman preparing for an evening out on Halloween night. A hulking figure with a burlap mask (Sylvain Robic as The Howler) and a sharp knife has other plans for her, though. Jay escapes her dwelling and finds several places to try and hide or get away, none of which are very inviting. This part of the short is pretty much a final-girl showdown, and Kazan, who also edited, shows a keen eye for keeping the suspense at a high level and having his shots look impressive, with superb lighting effects highlighting inhospitable streets and buildings.
Residual has just a few lines of dialogue (in English), so most of the emphasis is on the cat-and-mouse chase between Jay and the Howler. Cavalier makes a fine potential victim, giving a good physical performance while solidly expressing fear and determination. Robic makes for a fine slasher villain, also delivering the goods in a great physical performance.
The supernatural twist involves ghosts, but I’ll leave it at that for viewers to discover for themselves. Gruesome Magazine readers can do just that right now, because the short is available to watch for free at the link below.
(3.5 / 5)