A young woman’s consciousness slips between horror and reality in Manuel Baeza’s short film, A Bitter Murmur.
Sam (Cailyn Rice) just moved to a new town, a new home, and a new life with her husband. At night, she experiences the same nightmare — a haunting figure from Sam’s past grabs her and pulls her down. She immediately awakens in terror. Hoping to find answers, Sam sits with her therapist (Mary Carrig), who tries to assure her it’s all in her head.
“…a haunting figure from Sam’s past grabs her and pulls her down.”
A Bitter Murmur effectively plays with the fear and anxiety of isolation. Writer/director Baeza intensifies the sounds we all hear when we are alone at home as the house settles, unknown taps in the other room, creaks at the door. He then layers Sam’s personal life, her missing husband, and a spectral figure from the past. The filmmaker also leaves many questions open about young Sam’s complicated life and just how real her dreams are.
A Bitter Murmur screened at the 2022 Dances With Films.
"…effectively plays with the fear and anxiety of isolation."