Review: Heartshot


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Quantumcat Animation

Sleepy Creek Films

4 Stars


Thomas Nicol directs a unique script he co-wrote with Joseph Taylor, based on a story by Mike Byers. It took the prize for Best Short at the 2013 Portland H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. This dystopian-set narrative of a drug addict’s endeavors to procure his choice narcotic is a gruesome treat, and more than worthy of its accolades. Some clumsy dialogue aside, it’s well written, competently directed, and features pretty decent acting. For this level of filmmaking the special effects are impressive, particularly the unicorns.

Clocking in at thirty-three minutes, Heartshot is a mean-spirited story, I won’t lie about that. The exact details of which I won’t spoil here, but suffice it to say it delivers a gut punch when you realize what this guy is using to bait the mythological beasts. Isn’t that what horror is all about, horrifying? Thomas Nicol has delivered

There are artifacts, ghosting, and excess noise throughout the presentation, whether they are a result of the digital filming or the disc formatting, I’m not sure, but they are distracting. These flaws, however, are not so off-putting that you won’t enjoy the movie. I highly recommend it.

I believe the DVD-R is now out of print, but the film is available on VIMEO for three bucks. The disc contains commentary tracks from the cast, crew, and writer, featurettes about the digital and practical effects, and a bonus short titled “A Bear in the Woods,” which is just plain quirky, but in a good way.


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