Monday, 21 May 2012

Review : Vessel (2012) - Short film

Director - Clark Baker

I'm really developing a taste for these short movies.

Its a no lose situation. If the short sucks, you only lost ten minutes of your time on the planet, and if they're done well, you get a short sharp rush of horror adrenalin that wont eat up your day. Good stuff.

Its also the playground of invention. These young filmmakers have to cram a lot of shit into these little movies, both to give them the required depth and win over the audience, and to showcase their abilities behind the camera. Often, they run on ambition alone, and look very cheaply produced, but sometimes one comes along that looks and feels fully cinematic, in style and scope. VESSEL is one such short.

There's little to give away, but I still don't wanna spoil the fun, so all I'll say is it appears to take some influence from Sci-Fi horror classics such as ALIEN, INVASION OF THE BODYSNATCHERS, THE THING and the much loved, William Shatner starring TWILIGHT ZONE episode, TERROR AT 20,000 FEET.

Most shorts stay very grounded due often to budgetary constraints, so for an indie director to set his short on a passenger jet, and feature extensive shots of his creature, a UFO and the airplane, is pretty damn brave. Luckily, Clark Baker has the chops to pull it off. VESSEL looks just great. The set design and lighting are impeccable, the performances are sound, there's a really professional soundtrack behind the whole thing that accentuates the tension, and last but not least, (and this is a crucial one), his monster looks excellent. A mixture of old school effects and well utilized CG help bring this semi Lovecraftian space bastard to life, and it never looks less that bad-ass.

Gore is sparse given that this is a mini-creature-feature, but in terms of how the tale plays out, it makes good sense. The CG is effective and manages to avoid looking like it was done on a home PC, (a problem which sadly sinks many such projects). In fact, it actually looks pretty darn professional. I'm curious as to what the budget was on this thing. It really does look polished.

Anyway, there ain't much more to say. Its a short film and this here is a short review. If you like your monster movies, and a dash of Sci-Fi, (and who doesn't?), then you could do a whole lot worse. The whole thing lasts under ten minutes, and is sure to entertain while it rolls. This work should see director, Baker, gain some much deserved recognition. Id like to see this cast and crew take on a full length feature. They all look like they could handle it with ease.

You can catch VESSEL over at BLOODY DISGUSTING for free right now, just click on them there words I just done typed....

8 Spider Sperms out of 10 (As always, my rating for this short is in comparison to other shorts, and not to full-length films. There's only so much you can do in so little time, and with that in mind, I believe these mini-movies should be judged on their own terms).


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