Sunday, 25 May 2014

Short Film Review: HOPSCOTCH (2014) Directed by Kirsten Walsh

hopscotch kirsten walsh
A complete change of pace to the usual short horror film, Kirsten Walsh's Hopscotch is a brooding, malignant piece which has the viewer anticipating the sick 'delights' to come.
Bridget (Amanda Ayres) is an escort whose latest job brings her out of town, where she is met by Jolene (Christin Easterling), the 'assistant' of the hooker's host for the night. It turns out the pair actually knew each other at school, and it's clear that Bridget (or Shannon as she was then) was a bitch to Jolene before they parted ways. Heading to the house, they are met by Rebecca (Karen Overstreet), who unnerves Bridget with some Sapphic flirting, but wins her over when she discovers she is part of a big candy-making company. Jolene is uncomfortable when Bridget mentions they knew each other, and Rebecca makes her tell the full story while Jolene fixes some drinks - mixing a little something more than sweetener in one. When she returns, she is made to do her 'magic trick', escaping from handcuffs. They convince Bridget to have a go, and she becomes frustrated when she can't remove them. Rebecca quizzes her about her career choice, and continues her seductive advance, only not sexually this time...
hopscotch karen overstreet
Karen Overstreet
The mood is set during the credit sequence, as bloodied torture equipment is seen cut between television footage of Bill Clinton's inauguration. There's a constant feeling of something else at play, and the tension keeps building until we finally find out what's going on.With political undertones and a growing sense of dread, it's a talky film but it works for the benefit of the payoff. It's also interesting that although it's an all-female cast (even the dog is a bitch!), the script was by a man (Christian Nelson), and it doesn't fall into the trap of sounding awkward.
Behind the scenes shot from the film's Facebook page - Amanda Ayres, Christin Easterling and crew
Proficiently directed, with some interestingly creative cinematography choices (selected focus, and some shallow depth of field), with the only negative aspect is some hiss on the soundtrack, noticeable especially during the conversations. And this being such a dialogue-led film it is noticeable. It's no doubt a side effect of having such a low budget to work with, (little or no looping) and by no means too annoying, but there nevertheless.
The cast  are all great, and believable in their roles. Exuding raw sexuality and confidence, Karen Overstreet dominates the proceedings, but both Amanda Ayres and Christin Easterling are fantastic and very watchable.
Behind the scenes shot from the film's Facebook page. Christin Easterling, Karen Overstreet (back) and Amanda Ayres
It's an impressive debut, and shows that Ms Walsh is worth keeping an eye on in future.
It is hoped Hopscotch will appear at film festivals in the coming year, you can find out more on the Facebook page.
7 out of 10

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