By Natalie Erika James | Horror
A woman's fear of her childhood home is brought to light when her aging father claims there's a presence in the house.
Now a young woman, Sam returns to help her aging father pack up the remains of their family estate in the remote, secluded woods.
But as Sam sifts through reminders of her childhood and hears her dad speak of strange disturbances in and around the house — and the real reason for his decision to move — her suspicions begin to rise.
This broodingly atmospheric Australian horror short had a distinctive look and feel that’s both subtle but steeped with suggestion. Director Natalie Erika James prizes restraint, creating burnished Gothic beauty with moody lighting and hypnotic camerawork, which also seem to reference tropes found in modern Asian horror films.
Understated performances emphasizes the film’s emotional core: revisiting childhood, and grappling with changing roles between an aging parent and their now-grown child.
The film slowly builds, carefully laying down the groundwork of suggestion with care and precision, until it pays off with a genuinely skin-tingling reveal that proves effective and frightening.
While many horror films pump up the adrenaline and lean on shock, “Creswick” is all about dread, resulting in an eerie, beautifully spooky film whose chills linger in the blood well after viewing — and whose visual panache elevate the short into a small cinematic jewel.
For those who want more after the conclusion of “Creswick,” James is developing the short into a feature called “Relic,” which will shoot later in 2018.
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