Director – Alex Colonna
Cast – Stephen Manley, Nailya Shakirova, Tiffany Rose Thomas, Megli Micek, Ellie Barquist, Jenevieve Serpentine Sorceress
Release Year – 2014
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Black Mask is an 18 minute short film that I came across on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. It had some good reviews so I gave it a go and was pleased overall with the outcome. It follows a father and his young gifted daughter, who has just manifested a dark entity within her. When he learns that this entity is tied to his dark past, he must make a harrowing decision to keep her from falling victim to it.
At under 20 minutes in length the horror kicks in right away. Maya, the daughter, is a reclusive girl who listens to music in her room while working on her art. Her art becomes horrific when she starts drawing a spooky black mask and hanging her portraits on the wall. Writer/director Alex Colonna’s execution of these black mask scenes was great and he made the most out of the film’s awesome atmosphere. The shadows are everywhere and the musical score consisted of screeching violins that aided in making a good spook. The story starts off very well but as it grew I started to lose interest in what was going on. We are informed that series of events in the past are responsible for what is going on today. Sadly, these events are hardly scary and the middle of the film (second act) is where it suffers the most. The climax will be confusing to some, as it was to me, and while it isn’t bad it definitely did not hit me as hard as the film’s intro did. It is obvious that Colonna has great talent when it comes to atmosphere and the look of the film. If anything, watch it for that.