Don't Look in the Attic Movie Review
Written by Daniel Benson
DVD released by Midnight Pictures
Directed by Andrew Harrison
Based on the short story "Trapdoor" by Ray Bradbury
32 Minutes, Not rated
Samantha Herron as Claire
Liz Redpath as Emma
Harry Harril as Pest Control guy #1
Darryl Sloan as Pest Control guy #2
Margaret Burke as Claire's Mother
Claire (Samantha Herron) lives a comfortable life, albeit alone. She has a nice house and a new car, but lately she has been kept awake at night by noises in the attic.
Assuming she has a rodent problem, she calls her local pest control company to rectify the situation. When the pest control guy (Harry Harril) turns up, he's a little drunk and very arrogant so she decides to go out for a short while and leave him to it. On her return, there's no sign of him but his van is still parked outside. Assuming he's finished the job and left for the pub, she calls the company back to retrieve their van.
As she settles down in bed for the night, she hears the familiar distracting noise from the attic again. Annoyed with the constant broken sleep, she decides to investigate.
It's not a good idea. As the title of the movie says; Don't Look in the Attic...
A few weeks ago, Irish low budget filmmaker, Andrew Harrison, sent me a bunch of discs from the small production company he runs with his longtime friend Darryl Sloan. Work commitments had kept me from viewing all but one of the movies, but when a VHS tape of their latest production dropped through my letterbox, it prompted me into some action.
So, what we have is a spooky little short movie based on the similarly short story by Ray Bradbury ("The Martian Chronicles", "Farenheit 451"). In Bradbury's original story, a woman discovers a mysterious trapdoor in the house in which she has lived for years. Replacing the trapdoor from Bradbury's story with the loft hatch of a young woman's modern home, the filmmakers have pulled the setting out from a spooky old house scenario and dropped it straight into suburbia.
The movie is very atmospheric, and the feeling of foreboding by the viewer is quite pronounced. You know that Claire's problem isn't related to rodents and you almost want to grab her and tell her to get out of the house before 'it' gets her. Of course, in movie-land, no amount of shouting at the screen can influence the characters away from their certain doom.
Samantha Herron plays a solid enough performance to make her character believable, as do the supporting cast. What is quite remarkable about the film is the fact there was almost no need for special effects, save for one particular scene where only the creature's hands are seen.
Overall, a nice little short which never drags. Don't Look in the Attic shows how much tension can be created when the right story is tied nicely together with a good script and tight editing. I'll be looking forward to viewing the other Midnight Pictures releases.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Picture, Sound and Extra Features are not rated as this was a VHS screener only. Normally, Midnight pictures put out feature packed discs which are extremely impressive for such a small company. The movie was shot in 1.85:1 (16:9) Aspect ratio, and the tape includes some outtakes after the end credits as well as the Midnight Pictures showcase trailer at the beginning.
You can purchase other Midnight Pictures releases only through their website. The discs come loaded with extras and weigh in at the very reasonable price of £7.50.