Cram: Short Film Review
Marc Lack (John DiMino) is in trouble and he desperately needs the help of his friends. That’s because he’s seriously underprepared for an exam and after his less than sympathetic friends leave him to study in the library, he realises that he has no other option – he has to cram in as much knowledge as he can in one night.
He pours through books and writes down as much as he can find that may be useful, hoping that it goes in. However, soon Mark starts to see things and perhaps it could be his guilty conscience playing on his mind, or there could be things that are trying to stop him from learning.
Cram is a short movie directed by Abie Sidell which explores the biggest dread of a student’s life, the fear of not being able to pass. Gradually building up a sense of foreboding, Mark’s experience’s start to get stranger as they continue.
It feels as if everything he encounters has a tinge of the supernatural about it and with the bookshelves seemingly closing in on him, he’s starting to feel the pressure. He just has to find out what’s behind the visions that he’s experiencing.
Bringing that fear to life that every student has experienced at one time or another, director Sidell makes their fears manifest by attaching a demonic encounter to the worst things that could happen. Something of a creature feature, Cram feels like an almost nostalgic kind of horror movie which cleverly taps into something to which most people can relate.
That ominous feeling that if you had only done what you needed to do earlier, then you wouldn’t be in that mess gives the audience a character who they may enjoy seeing tormented. Although those who can identify with Mark may not want to admit how putting things off as late as possible can be so tempting.
A sort of morality tale, Cram is filled with laughs and inventive encounters, especially when Mark realises the source of his frights. It may also bring a smile to those who don’t mind their horror being low budget.
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