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    Senior Member Shawn Philip Nelson's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Portland, OR
    Formerly user 'shawneous'.

    "Every great idea is on the verge of being stupid."
    -Michel Gondry

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    Senior Member Matt Harris's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    West Hollywood, CA
    Special thanks to all of you guys, whose threads I have been reading for months now, which made me wanna be a part of the gang yet again!
    Matt Harris
    Director / Composer / Colorist / Motion graphics


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    Senior Member Hawk Teflon's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    SPOILER REVIEW: Do not read further if you haven't seen this short!

    First off, I just want to say I was looking forward to yours the LEAST, Matt. I don't like scary movies, and your in VillainFest scared me. Knowing that, I was thinking, "Ah crap ... I'm going to wet my pants on this one."

    The good: You sold the "reality" thing very well. The way it was shot, the way people "acted" in this (toward the beginning) all seemed very reality tv to me. It was very fluid as though that was actually their lives. Kudos on that. Also, I liked how the driver didn't believe in any of it, so he brought along his own thing to ensure the scare happened. I also liked the narration from the cameraman. Really pulled it together. I also like that we see her dad in the closet (I assume it's him with the eyepatch).

    The not as good: I didn't understand why the driver was standing on a chair wearing the mask. The best I could come up with was it was like the closing scene in the Blair Witch movie. I also didn't understand why she picked the camera up at the end to put on the bed to video her talking to her dad.

    Favorite part: The creepy door opening slowly. Very unnerving.

    All in all, great job again. You've really got this "footage" thing down. Scared me again, so kudos!

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    Senior Member taylormade's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    St.Louis area, USA

    You've really got the reality thing down, Matt. The cameraman and producer came off very naturally as did the woman who "invited" them out to her father's condo. I liked the breezy attitude of both and the "friendly" location - the last place you'd expect for a horror film. Very good dialog and natural delivery from all four actors. Clever set-up and a nice stunner at the end.

    The sound mix got a little wild as the camerman got out of the car, too loud for a few lines - I'd cut it back a bit in the mix. No biggy but it distracted from an otherwise very natural scene.

    The shot up the stairs was great.

    I very much liked the moment when things went "wrong" and the medium started choking - then the doors swing shut. Very creepy.

    The closet scene was somewhat of a repeat of the boathouse from the last fest, but it worked. I didn't quite get the shock I was expecting when the serial killer showed up with the eyepatch. It wasn't bad, but not as effective as it might have been -although I don't have a suggestion on a way to improve it. Maybe the strange rattling noise just before he appears put me off - I didn't understand what it was and as he appeared my mind was on that and not the suspense.

    Several things did bother me. The producer standing on the chair. At first I though he was hanging there, but no rope, so that wasn't it. Iit just looked like a guy standing on a chair and didn't deliver any shock. But the real bummer for me was the screwdriver stabbing. I'm sorry because I liked your film very much, but it came off as so terribly fake that it just killed that scene. My wife and I watched it together and she didn't even get what had happened at first. I said, "he stabbed him in the eye with a screwdriver," and she didn't believe me. We went back and replayed it and she said even then it was hard to tell what had happened. It doesn't look like it was stabbed into his eye, but like she simply jabbed something down behind his head. It doesn't seem to be in anything solid - like an eye socket. You really needed a spurt of blood. This is the climax of the horror and it doesn't come off.

    On a much better note, notice I said "he" stabbed him with a screwdriver. I didn't see the ending coming and that was just terrific. Very clever. The moving of the camera was a bit awkward, but it was the only way out and didn't bother me that much as I was busy enjoying the twist.

    This film wowed me from beginning to end with that one glaring exception. If there was any way you could reshoot that one scene and make the stabbing convincing, you'd have a total classic. Still, I loved it.
    "If they move, kill'em!"

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    Senior Member thetvirus513's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Southern Cal & Minnesota

    To start, I have always followed and loved your work, and this one was no exception.

    What I loved - How genuine everything seemed. The "reality tv" stuff was sold incredibly well by you and your actors. I am a big fan of this kind of film as it genuinely scares me....a lot. You pulled it off incredibly well and even though you know in a general sense what is going to happen it was still very creepy. I did not mind the guy standing on the chair with the mask, I think it was a good addition and whether he was hanging or not that would be the beginning stages of one hanging themselves so I thought it fit into the story. Also the first time we see the mask and also the lady at the car window made me jump big time, the rest wasn't as much startling as it was just plain creepy.

    What I didn't like as much - The closet scene just didn't do it for me. Of course when you see him pointing his flashlight around you know something it going to pop up, but the guy with the eye patch just didn't do it for me, especially with how creepy other things were, I think you could make him creepier/scarier/more messed up.....although I knew who it was, I couldn't help but be reminded of a pirate which killed the mood a little. that was the only bigger thing, and I have two nitpicky things. 1) I think the last line that the woman delivers could be redone, it almost seemed like she was about to start laughing or something. I don't know it could just be me but she did really well in the rest of it, and I don't think that last line was delivered appropriately for the mood, coulda been much more creepy/demonic/possessed/etc. 2) In the car scene there is music, which I am led to believe is coming from the stereo. I could be wrong, but as the camera cuts along their drive and time moves along, I don't believe the song cuts at all. Again maybe I'm wrong but I went back and listened in and it sounds like it doesn't. I would suggest cutting just to justify the cuts in camera.

    all in all super good, very scary, very fun to watch!
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    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Nice work, Matt.

    You have a real knack for the found footage/doc style genre. This is no exception.
    What I really loved about this one is how genuinely real the characters came off. And not just one or two, all of them.
    If I came across this randomly I would totally buy into the reality TV aspect of it.

    I loved the slow build, even the humour early on. The guy with the mask played it perfectly. He thought it was all a joke.
    The medium was super convincing and her reaction sold it for me. Really well done.

    You did a really good job operating the camera while playing your role.
    I don't want to say too much as I don't want to give away the ending.

    Great editing as well. I loved how you cut it up.
    Very fun movie.

    You should get rid of the opening and the credits, then throw it up on You-tube.
    People love this stuff.

    PS - When you have some time.... it would be cool to see a ghostly image or something in the mirror just before the medium loses it. Might be something you can do in post.

    MONSTERFEST : 4th Place - Sustained Excellence Award - WESTFEST: 3rd Place - THRILLFEST: 3rd Place

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    I like the "reality" style. It makes it more scary in a way. Knowing that it's all fake and "just a movie", but in the film itself it gives a "is it fake or real ?" feeling.

    The end is good. And the story between the beginning and the end also.

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    Senior Member AJ Brooks's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nice work Matt!

    I gotta be honest and say I'm not a fan of documentary/found footage style films, but damn you do it so well!

    You took what worked in your previous short and pushed it further and made some great strides. One of the most genuinely freaky films in the fest!


    AJ Brooks - Writer / Director

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    Senior Member ZazaCast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Upstate New York
    I'll jump on the 'fanboy' wagon here too... love your films!
    You have a very unique style, right from the start this is a very believable film...a reality show... then "BAM" we get our first scare within the first minute. Genius!

    Come on....that would be too easy!
    Thoughts & misguided observations:
    - Love the first scare with the mask...I did NOT see that one coming!
    - ...and another scare at the car window. Damn, that's two in the first minute. Pace yourself.
    - I like your jump cuts....really adds to the feel.
    - Thunder & lighten in the bedroom {insert wiseass comment here}
    - There seems to be a 'bathroom' theme in this fest...or is that just me?
    - Did anyone notice the guy standing in the shower stall in the second bathroom? This baby is packed with the spooky!
    - Minior fail on the screwdrive in the eye, no blood, no gore....but it is implied.

    All in all... a VERY good film for last minute. I'm so glad you decided to share it. It has a creep factor of 10!

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