Fissure Movie Review
Written by Charlotte Stear
Written and directed by Paul Wright
2017, 12 minutes, Not rated
Grimmfest premiere on 6th October 2017
Emma Laidlaw as Kate
Amber Tasker as Young Rebecca
Lucy Hird as Older Rebecca
Matt Aistrop as James
Fissure is a short film by Manchester based filmmaker Paul Wright that tackles the incredibly heavy subject of losing a child. A pretty challenging subject to get right when you’re only playing with 12 minutes of screen time, so how does it fare?
The short follows Kate (Emma Laidlaw), a grieving mother who has descended into a world of drugs to cope with the loss of her daughter. Although she seems to be pulling her life back together, nightmares of the day she lost her daughter come back stronger than ever and she deals with it the only way she knows how. But Kate begins to believe the drugs aren’t just helping her cope, they’re showing her what really happened that day and she is desperate to uncover the truth.
Fissure merges horror and science fiction effortlessly to tell this unusual tale. It’s a bleak movie, not just in subject matter but in its visuals too. The feelings of Kate’s wretched despair at losing a child are communicated brilliantly to the audience through a fantastic performance by Laidlaw along with some amazingly creative effects portraying the dark harrowing nightmares she deals with. But this is not just a simple story of loss, and that’s where the science fiction elements come in, elevating this story to something rather special. These dark nightmares are bleeding into Kate’s life, drawing her in and the unique effects used not only portray a drug addled state of mind, they open up worlds we didn’t think could exist. It’s a bold device to use, especially for an independent filmmaker (director Paul Wright took on the task of doing the visual effects himself), but it looks incredibly stylish and becomes a part of the storytelling itself.
Along with the great performances and visuals, the score works really well, unnerving strings to heighten our sorrow for Kate at the beginning building to a score of voices adding to the confusion and stress towards the end of the movie.
The film could have benefitted from being a bit longer; 12 minutes limits some other areas of the movie like the father’s grief and new life after the loss which could have had more depth and thus made an even bigger impact. What we see works well, though, and it just makes you wonder what could have been achieved with a feature length movie.
This is a very stylish movie that is worth your time. It handles the subject of loss in a considerate and visually stunning way, with a hook to keep you intrigued to its final seconds.
Fissure will premiere at Grimmfest on Friday October 6th as part of their short film showcase at 12.30pm. Tickets are available here, to keep updated on where Fissure is screening next check out this Facebook page here.