Tender, A film by Joseph R Davis


Release Date: TBD

Release Format:  Youtube

Horror Sub Genre: Thriller

Synopsis:  A woman is drugged during a date with a sadistic killer


Tender offers the classic girl meets boy scenario with the enhancement of horror/thriller overtones.  Dire consequences are the end result for a single woman engaging on what appears to be a blind date. Not only does she decide to meet a stranger, for some odd reason she’s having dinner in his home. The viewer is introduced to the scenario after the opening credits of the film. The actions that transpire afterward aim for cringe-worthy, but never tread on frights or repulsion. Tender serves as a reminder of the hidden dangers lurking within unsuspecting, mild-mannered gentlemen.


Brilliant cinematography, creatively executed use of the camera. There were scenes that garnered the attention more than others. However, for the most part, compositions were indeed memorable. In addition, the creative lighting truly manipulated the mood to the film. In fact, the cover to this article is a screenshot taken from the “captivity” scene. “Tender” transverses well between the horror and thriller genres.  Clever use of camera angles and transitions mask violent acts and portray the film as a thriller. For those expecting blood and gore, sorry there isn’t any. Yet, there’s enough going on subconsciously that merits inclusion in the horror genre. What’s presented in the film “Tender” is a story driven cautionary tale.


Firstly, The film begins extremely slow and felt unnecessarily drawn out. The writer wanted to establish a connection between the characters and the audience, its understandable. However, the opening scene could have benefited more so as a montage sequence. The use of this method would summarize the events, characters, and outcome in less time. The total running time for the short film, “Tender” is eleven minutes in length. Every moment is crucial for delivery of concept, content, and execution for the limited presentation. “Tender” failed to make use of the time allotted.

The acting wasn’t of a satisfactory standard, of course, its unknown what level of experience the cast offered. Lines were delivered in a robotic play-by-play fashion with actions that were completely unbelievable. For instance, yawning before succumbing to the effects of a sleep inducing narcotic is not realistic, rather cliche actually.  The serial killer had a lax persona, and judging by the film concept he would seem to have a dual personality. Someone with homicidal tendencies would exhibit entirely different characteristics.

In Closing:

The overall concept is good but somehow interpretation got lost in its transition to film. The story lacks a proper analysis on the serial killer and the reasons behind his ritualistic murders. In other words, what is the root of his actions? A character-driven portrayal is essential to any serial killer themed concept. The suspenseful moments presented in “Tender”  were superbly done. Camera work and lighting techniques truly shine. There were instances that the viewer would expect some on-screen carnage but instead, are met with tension.

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Rating Score:  0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40  Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive


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