The Reunion (2016) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

A man goes into the woods looking for a missing young man with his trusted gun and his will to find him.  What he finds turns out differently than planned.

In filmmaker Francisco Silva’s short film about a man looking for something in the woods and finding out much more than he expected, he explores what one may find on the other side of the darkness and that is may not always be what one expects.  The way the film is written brings horror elements to this story and creates an interesting mystery with a surprising ending.  The film is kept simple in story and dialog as well as setting and development.

The cast here is led by actor Randy Davison who gives an everyman-type performance as Harrison Dulles.  His performance is decent, but feels a bit basic in terms of not being given a lot of emotional scenes or a chance to use nuances.  He does show that he can play his part, but doesn’t show as much talent as he could have here.  The part being almost the only one in the entire short, his performance is tantamount to the film working in the end.  He does give the right performance for the part and the film but it feels like if it had been a bit more and it would have pushed the film further.

The film’s ending depends on a surprise that cannot be discussed to not ruin it for other viewers.  As the bulk of the effects are in that last section of the film, it is difficult to discuss them without spoiling it.  However, it can be said that the reveal is good even if the effects for it are not great unfortunately.  This is most likely due to a lack of budget, but perhaps keeps the reveal more off-screen or veiled would have helped it look better as sometimes less is indeed more and most people’s imagination will fill in the blanks with even scarier or better effects.

The Reunion is a fun short film but it does suffer from its lower budget, especially on the effects side of things.  It’s a worthwhile watch but feels like a student film which is something many student films of late have managed to avoid.  The reveal at the end is surprising and works with the story while also not feeling forced or too predictable.  The Reunion shows talent from the people involved that could easily be developed much further.  There is a seed of hope, of something that may very well become a whole lot more.