THE GLOAMING (2013) – A Short Film by Sean Smith [Grimmfest 2013 Review]

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Written by:
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Written and directed by Sean Smith
Watched at Grimmfest 2013


Set during the Great Famine in Ireland, a father and son are toiling the fields, whilst the gloaming decends, when they must defend themselves from an ancient evil.

Directed by Sean Smith, THE GLOAMING is an atmospheric short film that centres on a small Irish community stalked by the legendary Nosferatu. Very little is spoken, but when the characters do converse it’s in Gaelic, with English subtitles provided for the viewer.

Whilst you could say that not much happens in the 7 minute film, it’s the time spent developing a tense atmosphere that works so well. The film tells the story of a father and son who work throughout the day, but as soon as the darkness threatens to descend, both are keen to return home as quickly as possible. From the barron land and use of dark tones, it is clear something sinister is lurking and the viewer is certainly left satisfied with the events that unfold.


Sean Smith has created a fantastic, gothic horror that slowly builds up to its terrific scares. I feel he’s made the right decision on using Nosferatu sparingly, teasing the viewer as well as letting their imagination take over. The overall appearance and FX of the character is impressive to say the least, and its great to see such a realistic and frightening vampire film after the series of sparkly Twilight bloodsuckers.

The sounds accompanying THE GLOAMING are haunting, combining natural sounds of the wind in the trees with a high-pitched classical style songstress. Mixed with the bleak visuals, the music creates an uncomfortable and terrifying scenario. Even the crackle of the fire at the beginning and end of the movie seeks to disturb the viewer in equal measure.

An outstanding effort that puts Nosferatu back on the screen.

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About Bat 4394 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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