Ivan Image


By Calan Panchoo | December 12, 2023

BLOOD IN THE SNOW FILM FESTIVAL 2023 REVIEW! There is a possessive power about writer-director Damien Fannon’s Ivan, and I use those words deliberately. While only over ten minutes in length, the horror short swiftly and cleverly connects a handful of seemingly disparate themes — parenting, possession, and technological overreach — to create a small but no less haunting cinematic experience.

Ivan chronicles a day in the life of young Juliette (Lily Gail Reid), a young girl who devotes her time to dancing. However, because Juliette’s workaholic mother (Kelly Hope Taylor) is barely home, their A.I. assistant Ivan (Nick Allan) watches over her. One day, when her mother decides to come home early, she finds Ivan’s protectiveness of Juliette has turned maniacal.

“…she finds Ivan’s protectiveness of Juliette has turned maniacal.”

Foremost, Lily Gail Reid gives an inspired performance. Her physical movements, wildly while dancing, are both mature and unsettling. Fannon uses the character to consider culture’s technological servitude as well as to create an atmosphere drenched in dread. But the best aspect is its thematic focus. The filmmaker doesn’t try to do too much with his narrative; instead, he reveals it to a disturbing conclusion.

Likewise, the director executes his vision with confidence. He uses logical ambiguity to highlight the unnerving emotion of the situation, not just in the film but in society at large. Ivan is sterling proof that everyday evils are the most haunting.

Ivan (2023)

Directed and Written: Damien Fannon

Starring: Lily Gail Reid, Nick Allan, Kelly Hope Taylor, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Ivan Image

"…the director executes his vision with confidence."

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