Yikes. This is the first time I’ve been properly lied to by a flurry of laurel leaves and the inclusion of ‘award winning’ in the title. Despite being filmed using some very good equipment, Enrico Conte‘s 10-minute short Leaning [whose title is never justified] gets very little right.
Things start off shaky, with a non-English-speaking radio host/voiceover riddled with grammar errors, and saying those in a very poorly-executed American accent. The broadcast favours telling over showing, in which we’re told of a vague, immediate threat urging everyone to stay inside and secure their homes.
Cut to a creepy priest with the worst kind of non-hair – completely bald save for two long strings on his lower-back scalp, like he passed out drunk on a pile of shower drain sludge and then tried to crimp it – who takes out a giant crucifix dagger and then stabs and scalps a fleeing woman. I say ‘stabs and scalps’, but I couldn’t tell you, because that’s the precise moment it cuts away from the actual weapon so you’ve no idea what is actually happening. I guess they saved on blood and sfx that way.
It gets worse, with a much-lauded twist at least, based on the YouTube comments) you can see a mile away, and some makeup that so impossible to take seriously it destroyed any lingering idea of tension there might have been.
At least I got to look up what the laurel leaves were.