After Hours Short Reveals Refreshing Antagonist
After Hours. Film Details
Director: Michael Aguiar
Writer: Adam Weber
Release Date: 2016
Release Format: Film Festivals
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running Time: 13 min
A young employee locked in a store after hours becomes convinced someone or something is following her.
After Hours is a short film written by Adam Weber and directed by Michael Aguiar.
It has been on film festival circulation from 2016 and it has gained a lot of recognition. It will premiere this December in London as a part of a horror anthology called Tales of Hell. Be sure to check it out if you can, it’s a solid slasher with a fresh antagonist.
Bill Oberst Jr. as Detective Harris
Dana Mauro as Lauren Deakin
Tracy Decresie as Louise
Gabriel Lee as Deputy Cordova
As a fan of slashers and shorts, After Hours blew my mind away. I’m delighted to say that the film is really well paced, visually it’s charming and the performances are overall very good.
After Hours is clearly a whole story from beginning to end, it’s like you’re watching a feature film that just erases all the moments that aren’t significant and as a result, you have a 13 minute-long horror short with all the elements to keep the viewer engaged and satisfied. At least I was… a lot.
After Hours starts out great with an opening scene that carries the film to where we want it to go and it’s mainly a tribute to Wes Craven’s Scream. It works, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen a massive performance from the first victim as Dana Mauro’s. Her character demands being dynamic and attentive and Mauro nails it being as natural as possible. Even her movements and decisions felt authentic. Bill Oberst Jr. plays Detective Harris, and he is a huge star on and off the horror genre with an extensive filmography. He is the star of the film and he definitely steals the show. The camera loves him and he is pretty wonderful in every role he stars. I must applaud Aguiar for electing the appropriate actors for this film and I can imagine as well that he had a lot to do with the final project by directing them.
The cinematography is remarkable with the correct use of lighting during the suspense scenes, specifically, the opening one where we feel disoriented and alarmed as Mauro’s character. The shots are clean and beautiful; the script is crisp and sharp and the editing is on point, which I suggest using headphones while watching to feel familiar with the atmosphere.
Aguiar knows how to direct horror and yet we know from the opening scene who the killer is, we are still engaged until the end and definitely creeped out by some scenes. There is a sequence that I can’t actually mention without spoiling the killer but if you don’t catch it in time, you might miss it. There are moments in the film that you need to be aware of what’s happening at all times. This is how we should be entertained. Being surprised or even chocked after knowing what’s really happening it’s a talent that not every filmmaker has. Great job scaring us, Aguiar and Weber! Great story and intriguing characters always keep us wanting more.
After Hours has all the ingredients to work, and a lot is made successfully in only thirteen minutes long. A major effort from the team behind it and a creepy first scene turn this little film into a slasher success.