SUNDAY BEST (2011)
Directed by Clive Tonge
Written by Ian Fenton and Clive Tonge
Starring Andy Squires, Bill Fellows and Valerie Shields
We follow this bloodied stranger on foot to a deatched house where he knocks on the door. A middle-aged man peeps around the door and quizzes him. The young man tells a suspicious story of how he’s been in an accident and would like to use their phone to call for help. After conversing with his wife, he lets the stranger in. As he steps through the door and into the dining room, he notices an unusual crunchy texture on the floor and looks down to see newspaper sheets covering the majority of the room. The home owner introduces himself as Albert and his wife Gladys, who is wheelchair bound and severely disabled both mentally and physically and is unable to respond. The stranger reciprocates by telling them his name is Kane and explains how he was in a serious car crash and all he managed to recover was his overnight bag. Keen to use the phone, he asks Albert however Albert insists that he should join them for supper and then ring for help after. Kane obliges and requests to use the bathroom to clean up before sitting down to eat.
Upon entering the bathroom, Kane unzips his tracksuit jacket to reveal a bloodstained vest. He cleans himself up and puts on a fresh suit which he had in his overnight bag. Another item in his possession is an old fashioned razor which he keeps in his suit jacket pocket for special occasions. Kane suitably decides to make use of the razor in an evening that none of them will ever forget…
Wow. What an incredible, meticulously detailed film. Created on a tiny budget of £500, the 7 minute horror short features Bill Fellows, Andy Squires and Valerie Shields. Bill, who has starred in hit period drama Downton Abbey among other major TV shows, stars as Albert, the kind samaritan who allows Kane into his home and even goes to the lengths of inviting him to supper. Whilst not many people would invite strangers into their home, Kane surviving the ‘accident’ was a miracle and one that Albert and Glady’s would like to benefit from. Gladys is played by Valerie Shields and does a terrific job in her first acting role as does newcomer Andy Squires as the dishevelled, dark stranger Kane. Andy’s ambiguous demeanor arouses suspicion in the eye of the viewer as he bluntly explains his situation to the well-natured, scruffy couple. Seasoned horror fans may well pick up on the trail and will relish the bloodthirsty scenes towards the end of the film. The camera shots of impact are quick, with focus on the character’s action deliberately maintained. This is a truly effective method and still hits you straight between the eyes with the violence despite showing mere glimpses. The sound backs up the intense scenes and is perfectly draped behind the visual throughout of the film to gently push the story along. The locations from the quaint country lane at the beginning to the couple’s lived-in home give a strong, authentic feel and allow the viewer to properly engage with what they are watching. Finally, the make-up used on Kane and in later scenes is applied to suitably to the particular scenes and creates an all to uncomfortable realism that will make the viewer squirm in their seat!
This may well be a low budget horror short but what has been created is a disturbingly dark, immensely detailed imaginative thriller that will put you off religion for life!
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