Pandora: A Short Film Review (2016)
With horror in 2016 being rather underwhelming so far its always refreshing to see what the indie scene has to offer. Short films are just as much a prominent part of the horror genre as the features, particularly for fans who enjoy attending festivals where there’s a wide range of them to view. Incorporating a limited time frame and smaller budgets, filmmakers are provided with an opportunity to produce effective scares and make the best out of the resources they have.
Pandora is a supernatural short film from Scottish director Drew Mewse and available to view on youtube. Shot on a 6D DSLR camera Mewse’s cinematography is sharp and of a professional standard. The whole production is polished and impressive work for such a small crew in which Mewse takes the reigns as writer, director, cinematographer, producer and editor along with a cast of five actors accompanied by a haunting score provided by co-writer and also executive producer Ali Campbell.
The tone is solemn and bleak which is complimented by the dark lighting and eeriness captured by its location of the traditional, gothic house. Pandora weaves in themes of jealousy and paranoia during it’s twelve minute run time. Susie (Susan Leiper) discovers incriminating photographs of her boyfriend Andy (Andy Noble) pictured with a mysterious woman (Erin Sykes). Andy shockingly claims that he isn’t in the photos at all questioning Susie’s mental state with the added dimension of something paranormal at play. Susie is shown opening the box signifying the idea of discovering something that could shatter her relationship in the long-term. Pandora capitalizes on a sense of real horror, the idea of finding out something negatively life changing, acting as a threat towards familiar ideals and values. Pandora is clearly influenced by Japanese supernatural horror, building up a slow burning sense of dread without relying on loud noises or cheap jump scares in order to garner a reaction. Pandora has an intrigue surrounding it which has potential for broader storytelling within a feature format.
A strong offering from Mewse with universal fears and concepts at the centre. Pandora is also an example of what can be achieved with accessible technology nowadays.
Watch Pandora below:
Hayley Alice Roberts