By Alex Purnell. The story of Bill begins with a widow drinking a mysterious concoction in front of an image of her deceased husband, with the hope that this form of black magic her loved one will come back to her.
Filmed in a single day and self-funded by directorial duo Dan Gitsham & Sophie Mair, the fresh idea is made even more compelling with the films simplicity, and its tight-time of just 3 minutes means there’s no reason not to watch Bill.
The use of sound works wonders for Bill, and is the most noteworthy component of the short. Nothing is quite as eerie as hearing a rickety door open slowly when nobody is home or the deafly quiet, albeit obvious sound of heavy breathing. To top this off, the music used helps create an ominous environment with its slightly off-kilter guitar playing and sinister drone.
The atmosphere is chilling, creating great tension, although Bill is dragged down by a number of components which really could have been improved. The film stars Roxanna Vilk, playing the main role of the widow, and although the performance isn’t inherently bad, Vilk seems to overact, her reactions seem unnatural and don’t appear to sync up with what’s happening on screen. This makes me believe this was more of an editorial or directorial blunder, and not so much the fault of the talent involved.
Alas, for myself the biggest pit-fall of Bill is the excess use of CGI. As a great believer of less is more in horror flicks (unless you are going for a John Carpenter-esque practical horror), I found it less scary and more frustrating, especially as I thought the intention of the film attempts to inflict more of a psychological effect on the viewer.
Unfortunately, the use of a CGI’d blue dead man does little but make me groan, so much potential desolated by showing far too much.
Bill is an enjoyable watch, and its length allows you to view it multiple times to really breath in its DIY beauty. Despite this, it is somewhat plagued by its issues but is admirable in its honest attempt to be different.
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