short film review by Cati Glidewell

reprinted with permission

from Bloody Disgusting World of Death, May 2020

Hey, all you cannibal cats and killer kittens, World of Death is back with two tales of horror about mixed messages and non social distancing in a time that is almost as crazy or unreal as a horror movie. Two tales that begin with a ride but not everyone makes it to their destination.

First up is 4EVR directed by Sergio Pinheiro and written by Joe Fordham, a film where the viewer should expect to raise an eyebrow once or twice after you fasten your seatbelt. The short begins with of photos of sunny summer images with smiles and togetherness float thru the air with sounds of chimes in the background until a man and woman in a car breaks the serenity. The camera then does a slow roll to the woman in the car Ginny (Alana Kearns-Green) who is returning from the funeral of her brother Mikey. His roommate, Alastair says, "I don't think anyone was expecting you to give the eulogy, given the circumstance," and then proceeds to get rather uncomfortably close. Ginny sits with grief in her apartment which is a shrine to memories of happier times. Grieving and going through condolences on her Facebook page, a message pops up that changes everything. As the short proceeds, the audience is drenched in a waterfall of emotions and memories from Ginny and what dark secrets that message on her page opens.

Pinheiro and team create a psychological tale of sadness, revenge, anger and lust that is as complex as the media used in it. From modern communication with cell phones, webcam and Facebook, to the physical and Polaroid photos and use of the answering machine as another worldly device that the dead use to haunt the living, once the intensity begins it does not stop. I would not be surprised if the production design used the color scheme of the lights in Ginny's apartment to mimic the inside of a Magic 8 ball. Asking questions and searching for answers you may not want to find. The cinematography by Chris Saul and editing by Danny Daneau and Pinheiro is exquisite.

As the short begins, the light and airy fades of photos reminded me of a summer song  and put a smile on my face and then progressively as the storyline darkens, so do the photos and the incredible camerawork and editing that I believe is a true sign of fantastic collaboration of direction, edit and cinematography by Saul, Daneau and Pinheiro. I will reveal, that the reveal of the short was not that revealing to me. I figured it out almost immediately. When it was made clear to the audience, the idea to hold back, in my opinion, should have gone farther. Not to an overtly obscene level but to make it crystal clear rather than hinting. The CGI, practical effects and makeup are outstanding and subtlety highlight the performance from Kearns-Green which is award worthy. The complexity of her performance and the myriad of emotions she conveys with very little dialogue is masterful.

The standout to me is the score by Austin Wintory. Wintory's score perfectly accentuates the happier times with the playful melody in the beginning and builds with the sharp tone of the baritone sax during the climax that at times cuts the air of the short like a scalpel with the sounds of a freight train.

4EVR is a dramatic, brilliantly crafted, horror short that will not soon be forgotten and whose team I hope continues to make incredible, complex, award winning films.

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