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The Independent Critic

Megan Castle, Steve Froehlich, Nathalie Soto Cuzin
James Dubbeldam
7 Mins.

 Movie Review: Before I Call You Mother 
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Writer/director James Dubbeldam is back with his latest short film Before I Call You Mother, a low-key indie horror short that amps up the anxiety and leaves us thinking and wondering quite a bit during its slight yet perfect seven-minute running time. 

We're introduced to Samantha (Megan Castle) and Steve (Steve Froehlich) right away. They're on the beach - she's casually enjoying a slightly overcast yet beautiful day and he's patiently searching for fossils. It's clear that they've both done this before. It feels expected. It feels routine. 

On the drive home, they discuss their efforts to conceive a child. It's an effort that has apparently failed again, a fact that doesn't sit well with Samantha. 

Steve senses another presence (Dubbeldam regular Nathalie Soto Cuzin) in the car. 

Is she there? Is she not there?

As Before I Call You Mother unfolds, we're privy to more of an eerie vibe courtesy of courtesy of Zachary Colton's lensing for the film and also Colton's original music for this low-budget yet effective short. 

Dubbeldam enjoys experimenting with his themes and that's very much what happens here. You're likely already playing the scenario out in your own head. You have a clear idea of what's unfolding, though Dubbeldam for the most part keeps things simple here. If anything, Before I Call You Mother is most effective more because of all the possibilities rather than because of what actually unfolds on the screen. It's also effective because Nathalie Soto Cuzin is a quiet little master of ominous and immersive looks, an ability she's used well in prior Dubbeldam flicks. 

While Before I Call You Mother uses its time well, it could have become even more masterful slightly more fleshed out. Dubbeldam could easily have a lot more fun here whether delving into a more extended short, a feature, or one seriously rockin' body horror effort. For now, this is a quiet little indie gem that tells a simple story that lingers in your heart and mind long after the closing credits. The film's ensemble cast is strong and Dubbeldam's cinematic droplets leave a powerful impact. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic