Canadian filmmaker Peter Genoway will bring his short film to Nightmares Film Festival next week, when Masks makes its U.S. debut at the “Cannes of Horror.”
Threading the needle of a short horror film is a difficult business. The limited time allows filmmakers only so much exposition and development to tell their story fully.
Many use this to build the audience toward one big scare; others use it for non-narrative tension designed to create a sort paranoiac, primal response in their audience.
And then there are those who seem to be willing us to ask questions, whetting our appetites for a larger story, and Genoway’s Masks falls into this third category quite nicely.
In many ways, the short film feels like one scene from a larger film. Brad (Alex Loubert) and Marsha (Vanessa Trenton) are at a small theater preparing for a costume party completely unaware that they’re being stalked by a killer.
The scene plays out as one might suspect with excellent creepy music, props, and lighting reminiscent of the Italian horror masters. As the credits began to roll, I couldn’t help but want more, however.
More importantly, I had questions.
What happened to trigger this killer? Why these two victims? Why this setting? Were there other kills before or will there be more afterward? And what the hell is up with that music box?
Trust me on that last one. It’s creepy and you’re going to want to know.
Despite and because of my questions, I couldn’t help but appreciate Genoway’s storytelling, and I’m certain that, should he decide to expand this film, it could be just as successful.
Masks will screen as part of the Horror Shorts A block on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 6 pm in House 2 at the Gateway Film Center in Columbus, Ohio.
Individual tickets are currently on sale for Nightmares Film Festival. For a full schedule of the weekend’s screenings and panels, click here!