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By midlandsmovies, Apr 20 2018 05:07PM



Atonement (2018)


Directed by Auzair Razak from Coventry


A Ribbontree Production


Atonement is a new 12-minute psychological thriller from Coventry writer-director Auzair Razak which tackles issues of bereavement, grief and blame.


Filmed in a Paul Greengrass handheld camera style we begin our journey with Daniel who we discover has lost his daughter and is battling to come to terms with her passing. Spiralling into alcohol-fused decline, he returns home one night and begins to see visions of a mysterious forest.


Daniel himself is played by actor George McCluskey (another Coventry talent whom we have spoken with before) and here he excellently conveys the awkward confusion and stress of this melancholic man as he attempts to deal with his demons.


Atonement sticks to its low-key realism with music that is kept to a minimum but when it does arrive it has an eerie elongated tonal quality which adds a touch of unexpectedness to the weird proceedings.


A piercing tinnitus inducing sound signals the arrival of his visions as his daughter Emily (Lamissah La-Shontae) appears then disappears into surrounding woods. The washed-out colour palette of these scenes help establish a dream-like quality whilst McCluskey manages to evoke a devasted father well with the few lines of dialogue he is given.


A date scene in a restaurant conveys Daniel’s frustrations and loneliness as he fails to engage with his guest and as he drifts in and out of his ghostly nightmares we are given hints upon what brought him to this state.


Deep within his trance, a shrine against a wooden log and a blood-red toy car leave clues as to the backstory and we’re soon within Daniel’s mindset as his fanciful dreams and miserable reality collide.


Atonement’s only real drawback is its slight unoriginality. The ghostly daughter and [SPOILERS] car crash denouement is one I’ve seen a lot of in local films. It may just be coincidence but as recent as last week I reviewed a film about a middle-aged bald man suffering nightmare visions that leave him “hanging” onto reality.


However, that’s not to say there isn’t plenty to recommend this short too. The film’s technical aspects are rock solid with sound mixing being of particular note. Dialogue, music and audio effects have been well produced and it’s so easy to ruin a good short with bad sound. But not here. The performances are rugged but consistent and deliver the slightly-seen-it-too-many times before materal with believability and sensitivity.


A great introduction to a young filmmaker I haven’t heard of, Auzair Razak’s Atonement is a fantastic welcome of another gifted filmmaker onto the Midlands scene. One who I very much look forward to seeing more of – with a splash more originality I hope – in the coming months.


Midlands Movies Mike


Follow the short on Twitter at @Atonement_Short

By midlandsmovies, May 2 2017 08:27AM



Editor Mike Sales spotlights the latest feature from Midlands filmmaker George McCluskey who discusses his new drama-horror project called Impious.


Hailing from Coventry, George McCluskey is a writer, director and actor and with his new feature Impious, he is taking on a horror idea he’s had brewing for some years. Based around the theme of possession, George has mixed both horror elements with a more real-life drama focused around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


George has self-financed the project with a budget that has so far gone into five figures and he has a history in the horror genre where he also co-wrote, and was lead actor in, the British Independent comedy horror feature film "The Zombie King". This 2013 fright flick starred Hollywood actors Edward Furlong and Corey Feldman. He was also Executive Producer and acted in British Independent horror feature film "Jacobs Hammer" during in the same year.



This new story however is based around a suspected possession. George goes on to explain, “That it is suspected because a priest feels this to be the case whereas the psychiatrist in the film is having none of it”.


With both men friends of the family, the "possessed" man, Tim Baxter, is already suffering from PTSD which itself creates a difficulty as the audience does not know who to actually believe in the story.


George continues, “His long suffering wife Elaine, and step-daughter Mindy, have persevered with his behaviour for years, so when we join the story they are already a family in crisis, but this recent spate of erratic behaviour has taken their situation to a new level”.


“What we get then is a family in turmoil, a psychiatrist who refuses to see anything but what he is trained to see, and a priest who fears evil can be more powerful than good”, summarises George.


The project began on the very first day of 2016 with George saying that, “I wrote the script in January and had just over 16 days to shoot the film in Spring. And I hope to release the film in Summer 2017”.


As Tim refuses to eat, his health diminishing badly, and a spate of biazarre and horrific events happening in the house, all the protagonists end up in a race against time to banish whatever it is that has "gripped" Tim before the situation eventually destroys them all. "The theme for this story is demonic possession but the film is also a thriller and a drama. Inspirations for this film are definitely The Exorcist", Says George.


The film stars many great actors, most of whom are Midlands-based, including Greg Hobbs, Diane Ellis, Jade Callender, Nick Sheard, Ian Brooker and of course George McCluskey himself.


To find out more about the film, including its upcoming release date get following on their social media sites below:


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5626520/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_1


https://www.facebook.com/ImpiousMovie/



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