Alfred J Hemlock Makes Memorable First Impression in Horror Cinema
Alfred J Hemlock Earns DecayMag Premier Award
Influential contribution in character and villainous development. Seamless acting and fascinating concept are exhibited.
Short Film Details
Genre: Short, Comedy, Drama
Running Time: 14min
When Emily’s boyfriend abandons her in the night, her only way home is through an alleyway where she is terrorised by the mysterious entity Alfred J Hemlock.
Can you name one iconic Horror villain? Answers may erupt with ease. From a production standpoint, the creative process is anything but easy. Horror is the only genre where creating a marketable entity is of utmost importance. Many avenues are considered to bring an original character to life.
Components need to come together with seamless fashion. Wardrobe and makeup design are major influences. Yet, poor acting can hinder a connection between the character and audiences. On the topic of acting, every Horror icon has in some way a trademark portrayal.
On May 1st, 2017 Alfred J. Hemlock will make its world premiere. The film is an Australian-based Horror short film that delves in the supernatural.
The premier will unfold at the 2017 Bermuda International Film Festival. According to the press release, Alfred J. Hemlock is a cross-genre production. Comedy, Fantasy, and Horror comprise the theme.
Alfred J. Hemlock ties into the opening topic to this review. Here we have a production that embodies the titular antagonist. Consideration went into every aspect of design and execution. The end result is a defining Horror Icon.
Screenwriters Edward Lyons and Melissa Lyons made use of the allotted running time. The duo created an impacting narrative equipped with underlying philosophical commentary. A slate of compelling characters reinforces the story. These attributes turn this film into a stellar exhibition.
Each of the characters has adequate developmental composition. For instance, Emily, the protagonist, undergoes a riveting metamorphosis. This is a thread some feature films fail to address with their leads. For the villain, it too undergoes dramatic development. This change comes in the form of a literal sense.
Is Alfred J. Hemlock Horror redefined? Yes. The film does not pay homage nor does it equate to established formulas. Instead what’s presented is a unique imaginative construct. The plot is simplistic yet interesting with developing circumstances teasing the viewer. There’s more to explored from this rich narrative. The titular antagonist grips interest and does not surrender till the ending credits.
The performances were outstanding. A believable chemistry existed between each interaction and character. In fact, the theme of the film is classic good versus evil. A yin yang flux of internal and external strife provide the foundation to each character. Each actor added a new layer to this complexity. This allowed the roles to mature across Acts. The cast as a whole deserves to share spotlight merit. Some may favor the antagonist as the show stopper. Yet without its conflicting parallel, this character would not have its success.
Alfred J. Hemlock is one of the few Horror short films seen that exhibit creative camera work. Edward Lyons used trained attention into getting superb captures. From overheads to vertigo inspired effects the creativity behind the camera is evident. Aiding in setting ambiance is cinematographer Simon Harding. The stage, in this case, a typical alleyway felt had a life of its own. The costume designs are also a highlight. Sarah Hoke provided distinct looks for these complicated set of characters.
Computer generated effects do make a cameo in this production. Its presence wasn’t overextended but the CGI did create a minor flaw. The titular antagonist appears as a supernatural cliché as it unleashed a torrent of roaches. Also, the antagonist’s flamboyant demeanor conjures one notable Johnny Depp role.
On a lighter note, one major problem were the cockroaches. Production, why oh why did you infuse these disgusting creatures to the storyline! Personal distaste to this diabolical impervious insects made the film cringe worthy.
Alfred J. Hemlock excels expectations. The film offers an intriguing story proposing many interpretations. The characters were fresh and the cast did an amazing job bringing these fictional beings to life. Contained are the fundamentals of a new Horror icon. It would be amazing to see a continued expansion to the Alfred J. Hemlock mythos.
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