Soiree (2019) short film review

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An egotistical man is invited to a party by his new girlfriend, but this may well be an invitation he should have turned down in Charles Doran’s new short film Soiree.

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Even before the opening titles, the quick cuts of a woman dancing and masked people suggest the short film soiree may be a little out there. And it is. Like a famous movie starring Edward Woodward and Ben Wheatley’s dark hitman drama Kill List, Soiree starts out as a rather calm drama before plunging into the depths of the occult.

Bill (Matthew Nelson) is a self-centered and arrogant man who seems to only care about himself and is garden, in which he likes to sit and admire his handy work. His girlfriend of a month Soledad (Catie Smith) seems like a normal girl-next-door and, even though she is upset at Bill forgetting their one month anniversary, she still invites him to a party which is being held by a professor she happens to be friends with. Bill begrudgingly accepts.

At the party, Bill and the professor Wilhelm (Timothy Doran) sit, drink and get to know one another through conversation. Here, we get to learn more about Bill and his despicable ways, lack of empathy and general rudeness, which makes the final act altogether more sweeter. The final moments of the film aren’t really surprising and, due to just how horrible a character Bill is, we don’t really feel for him during the closing moments, but it is shot in such a way that we can’t help but be impressed by the imagery laid before us.Soiree 72 dpi rgb 202x300 Soiree (2019) short film review

Soiree is, for the most part, a beautifully shot film, especially during the end scenes. The dancing and guests watching the event at the soiree is lit perfectly. The twenty-minute film is also performed well by all of the cast, especially the director’s brother. Timothy Doran relishes in his role as Wilhelm, a man who seems to have the personality that attracts others to do his bidding, rather like a more eccentric Jim Jones-type.

The audio is also done well, and the soundtrack by numerous composers and bands works really well. It’s also interesting to see that the film was actually shot at the real Institute For The Scientific Study of Human and Non-Human Phenomena in Los Angeles, California, where (according to the end credits) homicides and sacrifices do not and will not occur. That made me chuckle.

Soiree is an interesting and well-made short film. We will be keeping an eye out for Charles Doran in the future.

4 / 5 stars     

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