Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Spirit Board (2016) - Short Zombie Horror Film Review

I heard of The Spirit Board from director Andrea Ricca and soon found out it is going to be one of the short films shown at this years Horrorcon UK which took place from the 19th to 20th May (so the weekend just passed). It is an Italian horror that gets around a low budget through the use of CGI for its effects.

Ilaria Lamberti stars as a woman who has decided to use a ouija board, however she accidentally summons an evil spirit that appears in the form of a zombie. While avoiding the ghouls attacks she tries to use the board to find a way to send it back to where it came from.

First off what this does right...I liked how this was a silent movie, there is a soundtrack but in terms of dialogue there is none. When the woman uses the board there are subtitles to show what she is asking the spirits. At just under six minutes a complete cohesive story is told, this was well paced, there was a nice ramping up of events. Starting off with a ghostly figure sitting opposite the main character things escalate leading to the appearance of a zombie.
The biggest problem I had with this was how awful the CGI looked, especially for the monster of the short. It looked like something from a Dreamcast game, jerky unrealistic movement and it never seemed like it was actually in the house with the woman. Instead it looked artificial and almost cartoon like in how it appeared. This unfortunately made what happens not very scary at all, even a little silly at times. I am behind the general idea behind this but personally having an actor in makeup would have been far better than low quality CGI.

While The Spirit Board may be charming in its late 90's style of animation, while the plot itself is decent enough for a short I just wasn't able to look past the off putting basic look of the central monster here. However apparently Ricca not only directed this, but was responsible for the whole craft, from the editing to the cinematography, all the way down to the computer effects, and that amount of passion is something that should be respected.


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