Directed by: #PeterStead
Starring: #PeterStead and #HopeBloxham
Short Film Review by: Alexandra James
Believe is a short horror film that is portrayed in a similar style to Paranormal Activity or the Blair Witch Project. The film is made up of a collection of tapes which have been discovered and shows our protagonist Sean’s last moments he was seen alive. The film focuses on Sean’s attempt to prove that his home is not haunted, however, as an avid horror fan we all know that this is never going to be the case. Sean is completely against this idea of the supernatural, ghosts and demons. His total disregard for this kind of paranormal realm and his sceptic persona makes for an exciting watch, as his denial only strengthens this presence that resides in his home. A creepy film that plays on the mind, with such a small budget Peter Stead uses this to his advantage by creating a very authentic narrative.
Believe uses POV footage which does have its pros and cons. For horror, it is a great way to convey a realistic feel. Along with this form of ‘home’ footage, there is this unpredictability to it because you are not prepared for what you will see next. The audience are typically warned about upcoming jump scares through the background music which tends to build up the intensity of the film. However, the audience remain in the dark and certain scenes can come as a shock and strike the most fear because we have not had that ease into a scene. This makes POV perfect for horror cinema as the genre itself is there to frighten and leave you in a state of apprehension. However, the drawbacks with this are visual issues, it can be difficult to make out what is happening on screen with the shakiness of the camera or awkward camera angles which block out certain moments within a scene.
It would have been great to see more of a build-up of these eerie events that take place in Sean’s flat. It’s also worth noting that this short does have the potential to be feature length. The moving of objects, glimpses of dark figures lurking in hallways and the development of Sean’s character as he is slowly driven into madness, would have really made for an engaging and classic horror film.
Peter Stead, director, and starring in Believe does include many of the pieces needed to construct a successfully chilling film. The narrative is clear and concise, the acting is realistic and the use of a POV camera is perfect for this kind of genre. It is because of all these elements that it would have been great to see this story expanded into a full feature film. This short has a lot of potential for the audience to see the gradual movement of the story and capture Sean’s fear at each stage and would have created a great impact. Believe shakes up our inner most fears and teases our curiosities into the dark and strange making for a compelling watch.