A woman is being chased through a woodland by a horrific creature in the short horror/sci-fi film Shallow Water. Check out our review.
Up-and-coming directors like to make a statement with their short films – it’s a teaser of what’s to come and a shout to studios and investors “if I can do this with little in terms of budget, imagine what I can do with money”. Most film makers fall short though. They think big but then realise they don’t have the means to get their ideas fully fleshed out. Creature designs are dropped in favour of a cheaper make-up option, big set-pieces fall to the wayside and replaced by a boring double-header dialogue scene full of exposition and photography and lighting become stagnate and boring.
Let me reiterate. Most film makers fall short.
Sandy Collora has made sure that his final product is exactly how he envisioned it. The product being his new short film Shallow Water. When the film came across my desk, I thought that Shallow Water will be by a director whose work I had never seen before, but then a quick check on the old IMDB informed me that, not only had I seen some of his work in the past, but I had also loved it. Collora has been a concept artist for a long time and has worked on such huge projects as Leviathan, The Abyss, The Crow, Predator 2 and Men in Black to name just a few. So he’s no newcomer to the industry.
The film starts at a rapid pace and doesn’t let go until the final credits roll. We see a female running in the rain through a forest; the woman (Lisa Roumain from Monster in a House and Hurricane) is terrified and we soon see why – she is being hunted by a strange creature that looks a little like a humanoid snapper turtle but with a taste for flesh. Whilst on the run, she stumbles across some of her friends who have been torn apart by the creature and the cat and mouse chase soon takes her to a shed where a stand-off between the two occurs.
There is no dialogue at all in Shallow Water and it isn’t needed. As stated, the film is filled with so much fast tension that any dialogue would just take away from pace of the film. As expected, Collara’s desgn work and the visual effect and prosthetics is spot on through out, it’s something you’d expect to see from a feature film backed by a very large budget. The design work that really stood out for me though was the impeccable work carried out by the sound design team. From the creature’s sounds to the rain and more, it lifted the short to a whole different level.
The camera work was really well done too, from the frantic running sections, to the POV shots, Cinematographer Edward A. Gutentag managed to capture some stunning imagery. Lisa Roumain managed to portray the woman, who has her proverbial back-against-the-wall, really well indeed and you could see the terror the character was going through with no issues at all; Roumain is fast becoming a favourite of ours.
Shallow Water is an excellent nineteen minute long horror performed at break-neck speeds. It looks, sounds and feels professional and deserves to be watched.