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The Independent Critic

Cheryl Koski, Thomas Mendolia
Jeremiah Kipp (Based upon Edgar Allan Poe's "Berenice")
20 Mins.

 Jeremiah Kipp's "Berenice" is Part of the New "Creepers" Anthology 
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One of four short films included in Creepers - Horror Anthology Movie Volume Two, Berenice is a 20-minute short film written and directed by Jeremiah Kipp and based upon Edgar Allan Poe's "Berenice." For those unfamiliar with Poe's under-rated literary gem, "Berenice" is the story of a diseased man, here known as Edward (Thomas Mendolia) who is obsessed with his beautiful cousin (Cheryl Koski) or, more accurately, her teeth.

While the film is only a 20-minute short, Kipp has already proven himself to be a master of building suspense and he does so quite nicely here. Those unfamiliar with the story will be unlikely to figure it out completely, while those familiar with the story will likely find themselves intrigued by Kipp's faithful yet original adaptation of the story. The story, and the film as well, is really a rather classic Poe tale with darkness invading light and evil invading goodness. It is appropriate, and more than a little refreshing, that a quite short tale has been created as an appropriately short film that simply tells the story without building into it unnecessary distractions.

Thomas Mendolia is an intriguing chap as Edward, whose entire dilemma isn't truly revealed and we're never quite sure if his sickness is of the physical or mental variety. As Berenice, Cheryl Koski has a gleam in her eye that makes you constantly wonder where she's coming from and where she's going.

Kipp plays the film in a surprisingly straightforward manner if you're familiar at all with Kipp's work, but it's an approach that works nicely and allows the actors to do their own strong work. When watching a short film from an anthology, I've always felt that one short film should make you want to watch the rest of them and such is the case with this captivating film that is alongside films based upon the works of Joe R. Lansdale, Jeff Strand, and Lafcadio Hearn. For more information on the film, visit the Creepers website linked to in the credits.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic