“Well, you know what they say, that’s life in L.A. Everybody is filming something.” At least, that’s what writer-director Brian Feeney says in Night Terror. The short film focuses on Tom (Jaz Martin) and his significant other, Jess (Alice Borcean). That particular line is spoken after they spot someone recording their new rental through the window.
They’re Londoners in Los Angeles for the weekend and are being given a tour by the prim and proper owner of the property. Is the weekend house a great find, or is something else at play? The answer is obvious, as Jess and Tom’s first night in the house doesn’t quite go as planned. I probably wouldn’t go in for a place that was under surveillance upon my entry, but hey, to each their own, right?
“…they spot someone recording their new rental through the window.”
Night Terror is a horror short that plays upon our natural uneasiness when scoping out a new place. Feeney’s film is akin to a flash fiction adaptation of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games. It’s definitely creepy in spots, but we’re left with more questions than answers. The film feels like a set-up to a larger, feature-length home invasion drama. All the basic pieces are in place, but we simply don’t have the time to get to the “why” of it all.
The overall execution of the action works well, putting aside some minor quibbles with interior lighting. Still, I couldn’t help but wish there was more to grasp onto in Night Terror, as even films under 7 minutes need a sense of resolution. But the juice is ultimately worth the squeeze as everyone should have the time for a quick horror experience in the age of Airbnb and short-term vacation rentals. Stay at your own risk.
"…plays upon our natural uneasiness..."