Damnationland 2014: Tickle (Bonfire Films).
On October 17th, the Damnationland Horror Festival located in Maine returns for its fifth fright-tastic year showcasing a selection of innovative and unusual short films. Screening at the State Theatre in Portland, Damnationland’s fifth year will present festival-goers with six shocking shorts on offer. One of those short film’s titled Tickle,comes from awesome, independent genre company Bonfire Films, led by filmmaker Corey Norman. Corey and his team launched a Kickstarter campaign back in August in order to raise funds to make this project possible which was successfully achieved. After viewing several films directed by Corey Norman including ambitious, supernatural feature The Hanover House, I truly believe in this company and admire their ability to create horror movies for true genre fans reminding us what we adore about horror.
Written by Haley Norman, Tickle is a pure, classic throwback to one of the most exciting times in the genre, the 1980’s; when horror got gorier and anxieties in society were much more prominent. Horror movies used our every day fears as a metaphorical entity to blur the lines between reality and fantasy, Tickle brings this notion back. Part monster movie, part urban legend, Tickle is sure to supply the Damnationland audience with equal amounts of laughs and scares. Haley’s script captures a piece of nostalgia as the tale of the babysitter, a young boy and a scary bedtime story unfolds on screen. Casey Turner (Shannon in The Hanover House) takes on a fun role as Trudy, the semi-responsible babysitter who doesn’t let Charlie (Andrew Lyndaker) stay up and watch scary movies but allows his imagination to run wild with a chilling story about TicTac the Tickle Monster! Turner relishes in a charismatic performance while young Lyndaker is excellent for a young performer and proves he has heaps of potential as an actor. The energetic pop-style score provides the film with a feel for the time period its set in.
Tickle begins with a light-hearted tone, its tongue is placed firmly in its cheek which creates a well-paced build up for the dark shift in approach the short later takes. Without giving away too much, the make-up and visual effects are done exceptionally well. Its skilfully shot with flawless cinematography that captures the essence of its Halloween night setting.
Tickle has fun with the codes and conventions of a traditional 80’s slasher and knows exactly what its going for. Its self-referential, look out for the nod to last year’s Damnationland entry, Natal (2013). Damnationland’s slogan indicates that this is the way life should bleed but this year its all about the way life should Tickle!
For more information on Damnationland’s schedule and general info visit: http://www.damnationland.com/films/
Check out the official festival trailer here:
Hayley Alice Roberts.