It's all about the atmosphere - wouldn't you agree? With any film, feature, short, low-budget or studio, if you can nail the feel - sixty to seventy percent of the battle is already won. There are many ways to accomplish atmosphere creation, but arguably the best approach is with sound and score. By no means am I taking anything away from the visuals of a production, but honestly, how many people do you know that watch movies at the same time they're on their phone or laptop? Sound, in this day and age more than ever, is a huge factor when determining the success of a production - and "My House" has most definitely nailed it.
In this short film by Alexander Edep and written by Erica Kennedy, a family of four seems to be enduring a crisis of sorts - and this crisis somehow involves a game. As we're led down the rabbit hole we quickly realize one particular game night can't possibly be responsible for what's going on. Perhaps this is a reality show of sorts? Naw, that doesn't quite fit either - but something is up and during a nicely prepared dinner, and the absence of one of the parents, the true nature of the game is finally revealed. It's definitely a cool revelation - and a very cool culmination of the strange events preceding. "My House" was a satisfying short that although not totally earth-shattering, was more than cool enough to keep my eyes onscreen. And yes reader, a lot of the cool factor comes directly, and indirectly from the audio - and perhaps an awesome practical effect at the end.
When writing of the technical aspects of this short film, I find I have very little to say. "My House" not only sounds great, but looks great as well. I especially loved the contrast when comparing the concept of the film, to the nifty props and designs of not only the house itself, but also the outfits. The yester-year visuals and even the songs played on the radio - added a creepy vibe that helped carry the movie.
Also of note, the character portrayals all fit and these characters and their actions definitely took this flick up a level. As for the concept itself, perhaps my recent venture with the newest "Jumanji" film took a little of the sparkle out of this movie, but not enough to stop me from fully enjoying it. If I had any complaints at all, it would be about the prop used at the end. The "game" itself. I'm not even talking about the prop, per se, rather the light bulb within it. For some reason, seeing the actual bulb just got to me. It would have been cool if some paper or something had been taped inside the house, so you could see the light itself - but not the bulb. In reality, my issues with a small piece of glass is a really tiny thing - hardly worth mentioning at all.
"My House" is one of those short films that, dare I write considering the content, felt fun. It felt like it was probably fun to make, and was definitely fun to watch. There's a lot of good stuff packed into such a small package, even a cautionary message if you dig deep enough but without question, "My House" earns its four-star review. Well done.