Kamatayan

1 min, experimental horror, high school director.

Fade in on an arid wasteland. A tree off in the distance. In the foreground, a small plant twitches in the wind. A cloaked figure skitters toward our point of view, it’s aim is the singular sprout of life that is the center of our attention. Lillith Singson’s very short, experimental film KAMATAYAN, is an interesting sampling of talent.

What do you say about an experimental short film who’s runtime is just over a minute? We can focus on the overall tone. Consistent to be sure. Shot in a stationary dutch angle we are already given to feeling that things are, well, off. As this cloaked figure, the spirit of death makes its way toward the focal point, there are some interesting editing tricks happening that are effectively creepy. Then, as the film ends, a slow fade and darkness fall on the scene.

“…some interesting editing tricks happening that are effectively creepy.”

There is no plot to speak of, no dialogue, we are left to observe and feel what we feel. I think that what KAMATAYAN (meaning death in Tagalog) achieves is a consistent tone and atmosphere. For a high school student, this is an impressive mood piece that asserts an accomplished mastery of tone. Much like the title character, KAMATAYAN stalks its victim, circles it, strikes, and leaves without explanation or reason. Nicely done Singson. Now let’s see what you are really capable of.

KAMATAYAN (2018) Written, directed, and starring by Lilith Singson. 

KAMATAYAN is three stars ***

Norm’s Rating System: Full Price (****), Matinee (***), VOD (**), Don’t Bother (*)

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