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By Phil Hall | October 18, 2013

Actor/director Thomas K. Delson serves up a highly satisfying short film that offers a disturbing portrait of percolating psychotic behavior.

Delson plays the title character, an unruffled housepainter that goes through his work in a precise yet easy-going manner. At day’s end, he arrives home and falls asleep, still wearing his paint-splattered overalls. He dreams of his pretty girlfriend Lexis, but she has another lover that finds out about the amorous painter. Lexis, fearing for her life, phones the painter and he rushes to her home, only to find that she has been killed by her other lover. The painter finds himself in a life-and-death struggle with this killer, and he manages to come out on top. However, the painter emerges from this trauma with a cracked mind – and a wealth of white walls provides him with the inspiration to decorate the house in a crimson hue, with the paint supply coming from the blood of the deceased.

As a filmmaker, Delson builds the suspense in a wonderfully controlled manner. The loose-limbed charm of the painter and his dream girl slowly frays into a harsh love triangle that spirals out of control. By the time the film reaches its brilliantly grotesque conclusion, the viewer is shattered by the pain and horror of the painter’s atrocious triumph. As the painter, Delson’s acting is remarkably subtle, with little initial warning that the nice guy painter harbors some genuine emotional problems.

The real treat: Delson created this short for a college filmmaking course. This little student film is far more invigorating than most Hollywood extravaganzas.

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