By midlandsmovies, Jan 18 2019 01:54PM
Midlands Review - Please Forgive Me
Directed by Marcus Marino Gould 2019.
Please Forgive Me is a short horror film written & directed by Marcus Marino Gould. It’s produced by Clockwork Paragon, a team of media students in Chesterfield with a few short films and a web series already under their belt.
The film concerns a father and daughter suffering the aftermath of a tragic incident. Amy (Justine Moore) blames herself, while Peter (Leon Chrimes) struggles to help her manage her mental health but has problems of his own as he may well be losing his grip on reality…
It’s a creepy little film, one that slips under your skin before you know it. The soundtrack is effectively eerie, ramping up the tension as Peter notices something’s wrong outside. It builds up to a great climax, with unearthly whispering and muttering that really sets the viewer on edge.
The build up to the climactic vision is good too, as father and daughter clash over a disturbing picture she seems unable to stop drawing. Moore is excellent as Amy, playing her with angry defiance and an edge of vulnerability, really selling how torn up with guilt the character is. The energy in the scene is a great counterpoint to the slow build-up of creepiness that follows.
The filming itself is very technically competent and well-shot, with a good eye for the right angle at the right time so it doesn’t feel static during the argument. Some of the shots could benefit from being allowed a little more time to linger, though, and there’s a curious flatness to some of the early shots, but overall it’s very pleasing on the eye.
I’ve struggled not to spoil the events of the film in this review, because the film does suffer from having a very slim story. To be blunt, it feels incomplete. We get a great sense of what the family’s world is now, and some good hints at the trauma that caused it, but just when the plot begins to move the film ends. We’re left with too many questions unanswered, and certainly wanting more. This is a rare occasion where I would advocate that short be longer rather than shorter! It works very well as a teaser to a web series or a proof-of-concept for a longer project, but ultimately it needs more to be a satisfying story.
Which is not to say it’s a bad film! Clocking in at around 4 and half minutes long, this is definitely worth a watch if you want to be creeped out and left with a lasting sense of unease. Clockwork Paragon are a very talented bunch, and though this film has a few problems it’s still evidence that they know their stuff well. They’re going to go far!