Pieces

When a loved one dies, it’s hard to pick up the pieces. In Isabella’s case, she should leave them where they are.

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The short film from Cappuccino Films, written and directed by Dan Sunley and starring Kristy Guest, centres around a girl named Isabella, who is tasked with clearing up her recently deceased grandmother’s house because her parents refuse to stay and help. While tidying the house, Isabella finds a jigsaw piece alongside a note saying, “finish it”.

The beauty of short films is they do not have to explain or answer any questions they ask. There is not enough time for back story or character development. This story is happening simply because it is, so get ready for the scares.

I watched this movie at night, alone, with headphones in, and that is the best way to get the most from Pieces. The sound production is top quality and you are aware of every noise from that house, not to mention the score works really well to build the tension. There are several elements recognisable from the horror genre here. The haunted house, the home invasion and paranormal happenings all flowing the story toward the satisfying conclusion.

The bulk of the movie is centred around the star alone in the house. Kristy Guest does a fantastic job of displaying the different emotions that arise through this journey. A difficult task for an actor when there is very little dialogue to rely on, but one in which is completed to a very believable standard.

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The best scares in this work come in the middle and are so effective in raising the blood pressure and bringing the goose bumps, they do take away from the final reveal, which is good but not frightening. However this is not a bad criticism, rather a wish to see more. What we have in Pieces is a clever blend of creepy, atmospheric and terrifying, mixed together to create a delicious free sample. There is a feature length story to be explored here and I for one am sold.

I am ready to buy a piece of this puzzle.

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