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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

FILM REVIEW - CONTACT (2009)

The words "independent film" & "horror" generally fit well together, but usually for all the wrong reasons.

As an avid indie film buff, when it comes to lo-budget DIY productions, I fall into the category of either really really loving the film, or really really hating it. For me there's no middle ground. You’ve got about 15 minutes to make your mark, draw me into your story, and it needs to hit the target dead on, or you've lost me. Way it is.

So with 5 minutes LESS than that for the entire production, how the hell does Jeremiah Kipp's short horror film CONTACT (2009) stand a chance?

Quite easily, to be honest...



HIT IT UP


Kipp has assembled all the right ingredients, had them mixed perfectly, then delivers a 10 minute opus that not only grabbed my attention from word "go", but went on to suck me fully into the drug crazed experience that drives CONTACT along, hurtling at an incredible speed.

Based on a previous Kipp film "The Pod" (2006. written by Carl Kelsch) CONTACT strips things back to a bare-bones minimum and leaves the audience with that which matters most - a damn good story told well.

That doesn't mean that things have been "skimped on" when it comes to the finished product. Quite the reverse.  In fact, I must admit I had difficulty keeping in mind that this was an independent minimum budget production. Filmed in wide-screen black & white, from the opening title sequence right through to the closing credits, you fully get the feel you’re watching a major fully bankrolled blockbuster. And there's a damn good reason why it feels this way.
Kipp knows his stuff, you can feel it throughout the film, and as stated, he's managed to assemble the right people for the right job with CONTACT. Director of Photography Dominick Sivilli has taken Kipp's story and vision and portrayed it with a visual conception that gives the punter a truly rewarding viewing experience. The cinematography and visual effects deliver as far as effective storytelling goes, and all this with minimum dialogue, and minimum bullshit. The black and white, for me personally, definitely adds value to the storytelling process of CONTACT, and creates a rich atmosphere amongst the story's drug fuelled haze to lose yourself in along the way.

Added to this mix are masterstrokes of sound from Really Horrible Music's Tom Burns. The film's musical score and post production sound effects have provided Kipp's visual nightmare with a sinister, dark undercurrent that leaves the viewer on edge, but deeply engaged, right to the very final sequence.

THE DEAL


The story itself revolves around lovers Koreen (Zoe Daelman Chlanda) & Westy (Robb Leigh Davis) and their endeavour to draw closer thru a naked, drug fuelled love session that goes terribly, terribly wrong...



As far as visual performances go, there's so much to feast upon. The captivating Zoe Daelman Chlanda carries the story with a sense of vulnerability that implores your sympathy, and Robb Leigh Davis, downright the best piece of Hendrix/ Lynott homeslice to hit a horror flick in ages, totally won me over with his character's natural charismatic suaveness. And all this sans clothing. Yep, more than half their screen time they're starkers.

Seriously... drugs, nudity, horror... what's NOT to like?

THE FEEL


Like I’ve already mentioned, as an indie film punter, it's either fully hit, or totally missed. Great visuals, top notch story & performances, superb soundscape (honestly, the sounds are uber-sweet), and did I mention there are drugs, horror and nudity...



For CONTACT, I’d double tap it. Easy. Consider CONTACT... fully hit. But hey, don't take my expert opinion of this film, here,  go do it yourself... http://www.contact.shroggle.com/

SKULL SCORE OUT OF 5:
    
THE REAL

Produced by Alan Rowe Kelly, Bart Mastronardi
Directed by Jeremiah Kipp
Music by Tom Burns
Written by Jeremiah Kipp based on "The Pod" by Carl Kelsch
Director of Photography: Dominick Sivilli
Sound Mix: Tom Burns, Really Horrible Music
Edited by Dominick Sivilli
Special Effects Makeup: Daniel J. Mazikowski
Starring:  Zoe Daelman Chlanda, Robb Leigh Davis, Katherine O'Sullivan, Tom Reid, Danny Lopes and Alan Rowe Kelly

REFERENCES

The Pod - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0883379/
Contact - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1537732/
Contact film - http://www.contact.shroggle.com/
Jeremiah Kipp Interview - http://www.colonelscrypt.com/Interviews/Jeremiah%20Kipp/index.htm

Written review by stonerphonic © May 2010
Visuals generously provided by Jeremiah Kipp © 2009
All rights reserved

7 comments:

Sarah from Scare Sarah said...

I really liked this short. Great atmosphere. Liked your take on it.

thhjasmine said...

i did like it,i admire the directors eye,for what it was,i can appreciate it

stonerphonic said...

@sarah i liked the atmosphere of it too. from the opening smokey sequence, the drug fueled naked romp, and the use of flashbacks thru-out, it def created a great vibe the whole way. thanks for reading sarah, and for the feedback!!!

stonerphonic said...

@thhj i'm so glad you liked it. yea, i def liked both the director's vision, and the cinematography, and i felt that Sivilli's camerawork really helped bring Jeremiah's vision to life. thank's for taking the time to check it out babe, i do appreciate you letting me know what you thought of it xoxo

o, btw, what did you think of the musical score & sound FX? jw....

thhjasmine said...

i forgot to mention! i think that may have been my favorite aspect of the short actually,cant believe i forgot to mention that! oops

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