Ginger Nuts of Horror
Agatha is a short ten-minute horror film that packs in more creepiness, and insidious dread than most movies manage these days. A simple tale of an 1800's street urchin paid to bring food to a room each day, with the strict instruction, do no venture past the dresser in the in the room. As she brings the food tot eh room, her interest and curiosity are magnified with each delivery. Who is the mysterious occupant of the room, and why do they like to eat raw meat.
This is a simple yet highly effective ten-minute film. Apart from the brief discussion at the start of the film where the owner of the house sets out her instructions to the street urchin, there is no more dialogue in the film. A clever move as the viewer becomes wrapped up in the sense of wondrous, curious fear that the urchin feels as she goes about her duties. Why is the person chained, why is room in such disrepair, and why do they only eat raw meat.
The film cleverly utilises and almost Groundhog day narrative, where we repeatedly are shown a shot of her bring the food in, picking up the used the plate from the day before and then getting paid in pocket change by the owner of the house. But with each repeat of the shot, we are teased with a little bit more information as to what is going on.
The film is helped by some excellent cinematography and a great lighting of the set both of which add to the claustrophobic feel of the movie. Despite not having any lines the young actress gives a strong performance and carries the film admirably.
The final reveal, while might be apparent to some seasoned horror films is nevertheless satisfying and handled well. Overall this an effective chiller, that shows a lot of promise for future films from the writer / director.
A full length version of Agatha should be coming your way later this year, in the meantime keep an eye out for it on the Festival circuits.