“In the Loaming” is a very stylish and serious thriller. It’s also a very good short film. Directors Mark Engle and J. Cody Lucido, both well versed in the world of independent filmmaking and genre films, have created a twisted and nightmarish story about childhood fears and haunting. To applaud the filmmakers, the whole story takes place during the day in broad daylight, and yet it is creepier than many nighttime horror tales I have seen. By talking a perfectly normal and even beautiful scene and twisting it with great camera shots, subtle storytelling techniques, and some amazing acting, the daytime has become just as disturbing as any nightmare.
Linda is a grown woman who lives with Dustin. She is tormented by a childhood trauma involving the death of a boy named Todd. She recalls watching his terrible death at the hands of some unnatural force, but she can never completely remember or understand what it is she saw. Now years later, she is willing, even compelled, to revisit this place of horror and put it behind her. Dustin, caring and understanding, is going to help her overcome these fears by showing her that the woods she spent time in as a child are safe and beautiful. They take a picnic basket to the property, and enjoy the beautiful flowers, trees, and the lovely blackberry bushes around them.
Until some sinister and disturbing things begin to happen. It’s essentially a darker and more violent “Twilight Zone” episode. With special effects slightly reminiscent of the “Evil Dead Trilogy” but with a dead serious spin, “In the Loaming” is a great way to make any summer afternoon seem dangerous.
With a demented character named Mr. Scrimm to connect the entire story together in ways that surprise you, the plot makes some very disquieting points. Can anyone ever leave his or her past behind? Can we ever escape being haunted by the things that frighten us as children, or are we forced to re-live those fears as adults, until one day, they might consume us if we try to tell ourselves, “It’s only a memory?”