Short films can be used for many purposes; a pitch, an art piece, or just a short story that needs to be told. Last week CryptTV released a short film titled The Birch and We Are Indie Horror believes it to be all three plus some.
Keeping with the mantra #WeirdIsGood, the short film centers around a boy who is being bullied. As much of us weird kids know how that feels, this one bully seems to be on the vicious side. When the boy’s guardian, assuming mother or grandmother, leaves this world she leaves him with a new protector who protected her as a child as well. What comes next is what you’d expect, the new guardian who lives in the forrest, now protects the young boy.
Ben Franklin and Anthony Melton of Bloody Cuts, a UK based short film team who are incredibly passionate about the genre, teamed up with Crypt TV to bring another terrific short film to their slate. The Birch is based on a story by the head of special effects company Creature Effects, Cliff Wallace. The short stars Aaron Ward, Charlie Venables, Corinna Marlowe, and donning the creature costume Dee Sherwood Wallace. Watch the short first, then continue on for the analysis.
The Birch is a brilliant and beautifully crafted little short. The cinematography, provided by Johnny Franklin, stands above the rest. The scenery used and the pictures created are both serene and eerie. As the film opens we are given a jarring shot of a bloodied knife and clothes mixed with a tense piece of music, setting up the tone for the whole short. The slower paced of editing allows each individual shot and performance to sink in as the small story is told. The creature, which is The Birch, is a phenomenal piece of creature effects. Not shown for a long time, but the short amount of screen time is all that is needed. It is creepy, intense, and has a presence of an ominous protector. The bully had it coming to him.
The story seems to have a much bigger tale to tell. The Birch is about a protector who has seen many years and probably ended many of bullies. A creature used specifically for revenge, has a full length feature in the there somewhere. The beautiful make-up and costuming given to the creature is something that should not be wasted. If a feature film were to ever come of The Birch We Are Indie Horror would be there with bells and whistles on.