The Visitor Movie Review
Written by John Colianni
Released by Dreamlight Entertainment
Written and directed by Ian Kane
2015, 10 minutes, Not Rated
Sara Hedgren as Hanna
Ian Kane as The Entity
For filmmakers, short films can be a blessing and a curse. Putting the various elements in the order needed to tell a compelling story correctly, full length features can stack the cards against writers and directors due to budgeting, filming locations, access to actors and many other factors. A shorter, more concise film has the opportunity to quickly engage and disengage an audience, leaving behind the need of forced dialogue and relationship buildups between an extensive cast. Because they tend to be only minutes long, spending money on things like special effects and editing can be more justified. I personally love shorts when it comes to the horror genre because the filmmaker can focus on the feeling of their piece and a big scare rather than worrying about crashing and burning come the end if they can't pull it all together for their audience. Another truth is that I can be lazy as hell and knowing I don't have to dedicate hours to something is all the more enticing to me. With all that said, I had the pleasure of sitting down (and not spending a lot of time) with Ian Kane's The Visitor.
On a seemingly normal night, a young Swedish woman, Hanna, arrives home. As she begins to unwind and settle in, something just doesn't quite feel right. The audience has some serious foreshadowing dropped on them via a phone conversation Hanna is having regarding the tearing down of a Native American boarding school and the disappearance of locals. As she carries on with her end of the night rituals, she will soon find that being in the city isn't always as safe as she thinks it is.
Ian Kane's The Visitor does a good job with setting an ominous tone, using a minimal score and relying on sound effects to carry the mood. Lighting and camerawork work together to provide some scares. What I enjoyed the most about The Visitor is the fact that everything is kept simple. There isn't anything overly abstract where you need a scholarly article to decipher. The special effects are used sparingly but effectively and having a limited cast means I can be inflicted with short-term memory loss and still know what the hell is going on from start to finish. It is hard to come by a steady flow of short films when it comes to the horror genre. Take a few minutes to check out The Visitor and appreciate a specific way of filmmaking and the fact that Ian Kane didn't waste your time with something that sucks.