Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder) 2016 short film review

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A teenage boy can only be pushed so far until he snaps in the short British film Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder). Check out our review, right here.

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Growing up in Devon, England can be stressful according to the 45 minute short film by Matt Senior. Senior, who directed and wrote the short, also takes the main role known simply as “Boy”. Boy, the narrator of this story, is a social outcast who tries to fit in and make friends with many other local teenagers, yet he is either ignored or bullied. This then leads to macabre fantasies of murder.

Taking the same route that Darren Aronofsky did with Requiem for a Dream, Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder) is edited using fast cuts and montages to progress the story. You can really tell that a lot of love and effort has been put into creating the film.

new knife 768x1024 Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder) 2016 short film reviewOf course that is not to say the film is perfect (what is?), as the film does suffer from a lot of problems too. Many characters are portrayed by, what I can only assume are, non-actors. They are most likely friends and relatives of Senior, so they don’t display the emotional range needed (some couldn’t even pronounce “pathetic” correctly). This isn’t a dig at Senior or the film though; finding trained actors willing to work for nothing but a credit is a tough slog and filling up roles with anyone else who isn’t an actor but who will do it is a much easier and less stressful gig. I did laugh at the fact “boy” can’t find any friends and, even though he talks and acts weird, he has no problem with finding beautiful girlfriends.

I was surprised to see that three names where credited as the film’s cinematographer. I’m unsure whether they each took turns to D.O.P during the shoot or all three worked together at the same time? What I do know, is that some shots look nice whilst others were pretty bland. The use of lighting was severely lacking throughout, as was decent production design. If Senior had managed to secure experienced people in both roles, the production value may have shot through the roof.

I did enjoy the narration and some of the effects (for such a low budget film) were very impressive. As stated above, to complete a forty-five minute film that isn’t just “two people talking in one location” is very impressive.

Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder) has positives and negatives in equal measure, but what it does have is a young and hungry filmmaker at its helm gaining more and more experience through creating. It will be very interesting to watch his skills as a storyteller grow. If he continues to, he could become something very special.

3 / 5 stars     

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