Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Crawl Space (2007)

There are few films that make my jaw drop anymore. Or whose conclusions make me so grin wide. Or, for that matter, who make me want to give a standing ovation.

Crawl Space, an 11 ½ minute short from writer/director Michael Tiddes and Jury-Rig Films, made me do all three of the above in consecutive order.

A young married woman (Erin Ross) wakes up trapped in a crawl space under a house. After a frantic search to find out where she is, we see in a flashback exactly how she got there. While trying to figure a way out, she becomes witness to her darkest fears coming true. What she does in response will shock, horrify and satisfy you.

Writer/director Michael Tiddes wastes no time creating a tense atmosphere in the cramped and dirty crawl space. He and Director of Photography Steven Bernstein create a nail-biting atmosphere with extreme close-ups to magnify the terror of the lead character. The intense atmosphere is also heightened by the terrific score, composed by Sam Zeines. The result is a very foreboding atmosphere within just the first few minutes that continues to build as the short progresses.

The story, written by director Michael Tiddes, is told in a very engaging way and how it unfolds on-screen will keep your eyes glued to the action. The story twists and turns, leading to a surprising, bloody and satisfying ending. There isn’t much dialogue, as the focus is on the situation the lead finds herself trapped in, but when there is dialogue it flows realistically. The characters are developed just enough so that we know them and the actors do a wonderful job of bringing them to life.

The standout actress is Erin Ross, who packs a plethora of emotions into an 11 ½ minute short film. Her spectrum of emotions is very believable and the audience can readily sympathize with her character. Brad Schmidt and Lindsay Lorraine Jones are also excellent in their roles and manage to show us who their characters are, even with a short screen time.

The story and the acting aren’t the only things that shine in the film. Besides those two very important aspects of the film, the production values are also very high in Crawl Space. Everything, from the lighting, the direction, and to the cinematography, only adds to the polished look. All of these factors, including the script and acting, give Crawl Space a very professional feel.

I can honestly say that Crawl Space is one of the best short horror films I’ve seen in quite some time…perhaps ever! I eagerly look forward to what Michael Tiddes has in store for us, as both a writer and director, in the future. With this much talent behind the lens, Tiddes is one to watch!

If you want a jaw-dropping, grin-inducing, clever horror film that’ll have you clapping for more at the end of its 11 ½ minute running time, Crawl Space is for you!

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