Commune Short Movie Review
Written by Charlotte Stear
Written and directed by Thomas Perrett
2016, 17 minutes, Not Rated
Released on 1st November 2016
Tom Weller as The Man
Robin King as The Tramp
One short that has been getting a lot of festival attention is the wonderfully creepy Commune.
Set in London, Commune follows Tom, a man who signs up to a programme where he is able to live rent-free as long as he keeps an eye on the property he is inhabiting. Sounds like a sweet deal, right? Maybe not though if the building you need to look after is a run down house that was previously a commune... and possibly housing a satanic cult. Tom gets increasingly stressed out by his new surroundings and those few bumps in the night begin to get harder for him to ignore.
The film has the perfect setting, a dilapidated ‘30s build that looks unusual both from the front and on the inside is spot on. As the story relies heavily on its surroundings, this is essential. To make this run-down aesthetic truly alive, the sound direction of Commune reflects everything you see on screen. Every noise is heightened; floorboards creaking, doors opening and closing, it all becomes unrelenting, reflecting the madness that Tom must be feeling. Some noises even sound like ropes being constantly twisted which brings to mind pretty awful imagery of a noose; whether this is intentional or not doesn’t matter, it’s fantastically done.
There are nods to The Shining, from Tom’s scarf that mirrors the iconic carpet, to the way the music and sound effects are constant but almost blend into the madness on screen. This is a movie of its own distinction but it seems nice to make a nod to an iconic movie about a house that holds its own secrets.
Performance wise it’s a one-man show and Tom Weller does a good job of holding the film on his own. It’s not all serious though, he manages to inject a small bit of humour into the short which is a good bit of relief from the eeriness.
Director and writer Thomas Perrett has done a great job and bringing together all these different threads to build what is a very haunting short. It would be interesting to see what he could do with a full feature film, so hopefully there will be more to come of Perrett in the future.