Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review: The Stall

Reel Splatter Productions The Stall
Running Time: 13 Minutes
Release Date: October 31, 2013
Available from: Reel Splatter Productions

     The Stall was, in a word, fun. In several words, it was an all-too-short amusement park ride full of pizza, the monotony of every day life, and Lovecraftian Horrors from Beyond the Stars. In other words, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Still from The Stall

      What really struck me about the film wasn't the acting, the plot, or even the effects (which were pretty cool, by the way), it was the cinematography and lighting. Generally speaking, you don't pop a movie about slimy tentacles invading a bathroom stall into Ye Olde DVD Player expecting artisty and depth... But that's what I got. Right away, I was struck by the director's skill with camera placement, angles, focus, and especially lighting. The beauty of the composure of shots is really something. The first few seconds of the film I sat there wondering if I'd accidentally played the wrong DVD. Not in a bad way, just in a "Wow, this isn't quite what I expected." kind of way.

Still from The Stall

     The set design is also very well done. The kind of detail that went into setting up every shot, placing every piece of the set meticulously, yet with the kind of haphazard everyday disregard that makes (most of) our homes look lived in was really something. Reel Splatter clearly cares about producing a quality, detailed film, even if it is about tentacled horrors overtaking a poor guy trying to answer a call of nature.

Still from The Stall

     While 13 minutes doesn't seem like a long time comparatively, it was somehow just enough time for Reel Splatter to tell a compelling story, make me care about the characters, give their audience something interesting to chew on (or to chew on them...) and to wrap it up with a pretty over the top yet understated ending. All in all, it left me wanting more in a really good way.

     I've seen other things by the deviants over at Reel Splatter before - Check out their short My Friend Lawrence - and while I've enjoyed everything else, The Stall was something different, something more. My favorite Reel Splatter film so far. And I'll tell you one thing: If 78154 is ever made into a short film, I want Mike Lombardo and Reel Splatter behind it.

5 Creepy, disgusting tentacles out of 5.

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