Alright. You got me. "Cartoonish" from writer, director Ken Cohen was not at all what I expected. Things started out pretty much in line with what I was thinking. Some upbeat, almost comical music. A oddly polite intruder and a slightly, but not overly, scared ten year old. Did I mention the intruder was the creator of some very popular cartoons? Not exactly the poster boy for a hardened criminal. Right? So, as the short film progressed I began to notice an ever growing change of tone. From "cartoony" and amusing, Ken Cohen began taking a different path... and slowly this lighthearted adventure became darker and darker in nature. Until finally, I was forced to accept this wasn't the bubbly kid cartoon adventure I had thought it was. "Cartoonish" was a devilishly somber, completely adult film. I'd be lying if I wrote I didn't feel a sickening, tightening sensation in my guts as the credits appeared on my screen. Not what I had expected at all.
Yet strangely enough, I witnessed a very powerful message here. I'm not going to go into details, since that would spoil the movie, but I got it. I understood. As the old saying goes, scare them into seeing it your way, "Cartoonish" does a fabulous job. Agreeing with that particular message is another story, but Cohen does a great job of showcasing a worst case scenario. The fact he does-so in such a unique way definitely deserves some recognition.
The technical aspects are more or less just what you'd expect from a micro, independent short film. Nothing fancy in terms of camera work, yet everything is kept in focus and to the point. The animation segments were really cool, well done additions. Further driving home the point of the film. What was really well done was the balance of the production. The slow change from a dark-ish adventure to a full out horror film. I'm not talking about monster horror, or serial killer slasher horror. I'm talking about the horror I felt by the end of the production. A gritty, real-ish story that was as scary as any movie monster I've ever seen. In this respect, "Cartoonish" goes above and beyond - and truly earns it's stars.
At the end of the day, Ken Cohen has put forth a really scary scenario. Maybe a little outlandish and fantastical, when you consider the lead-up to the climax, but the point comes across loud and clear. This is a freebie to watch, and some recommended viewing. Why not set aside ten minutes and weigh in. A solid three and a half stars.