365 Days of Horror, Day 17: Behold the Noose (short) (2014)

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I’d like to point out now that this horror short is neither scary nor particularly suspenseful. But it’s fucking beautifully atmospheric, like a short horror version of True Detective. There’s almost no true buildup of actual tension, because if you can’t see the titular single noose as the climax, then you, as a seasoned horror veteran, know that there’s more than that coming from a mile off.

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But the short’s so impeccably and poetically filmed that you genuinely don’t care. You just watch the visuals, take in the haunting music and the symbolism and the strong emoting of the wide-eyed male lead, and wait for it to complete.

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It’s a gorgeously-shot piece of ten minutes. The title may give away at least the gist of the imagery that is to come, but, like I said, you end up not caring. There’s a single cast member – a sheriff’s deputy (Major Dodge, who sounds like a real-life deputy although he’s genuinely a model/actor) and you’re with him throughout – determined, curious, perplexed and ultimately horrified. To say it’s worth a watch would be an understatement; it does crumble significantly under its narrative predictability at the end, but if you go in knowing not to expect to be surprised, you can enjoy it for what it is and for what you make of it.

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