365 Days of Horror, Day 6: Amy’s Torch (2008)

amy's torch 2008

As shorts go, this one is pretty one-note and linear. Ignore the thumbnail of the YouTube link, because this less-than-three-minute short is so simple that said thumbnail gives away the visuals of its single jump scare. So don’t look!

Which is probably what the two main characters should have done.

amy's torch 2008

Narrator Ian Champion does his best Christopher Lee narration while telling us the plain fact that Amy (Evie Charlesworth) has a monster hiding under her bed, and the only thing keeping it at bay is her magical torch, because her mother (India Charlesworth) is too much of a blasé twat to figure out even a logical guess as to what’s been traumatising her. All seems well until the torch runs out batteries. [Honestly, we could have done without a narration; it adds nothing.]

amy's torch 2008

The build-up is slow and predictable, and Mother’s acting is kind of awkward and panto-wooden. The jump-scare’s VFX and SFX are more than decent enough, but they’re almost split-second. Director/writer Ben Wilkinson harnesses some increasingly unsettling imagery throughout (check out the garden gnome), but there was a missed opportunity to put much of the aural elements on mute to create a better sense of dread. After all, isn’t a monster under the bed something we can all relate to being fearful of? I mean, not now, obviously. *(ahem)* Grown-ups aren’t afraid of the dark spots under the bed that we can’t see. Not. At. All.

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