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The Independent Critic

Fabienne Tournet, Brett DelBuono, Jamie M Timmons
Ryan Graff
Ryan Graff (Story by), Daniel Shafer (Screenplay)
8 Mins.

 "Black Moon" Has World Premiere at Morbido Film Fest  
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Atmosphere is the star of director Ryan Graff's claustrophobic and unsettling 8-minute short film Black Moon, a film that had its world premiere in November at Mexico's Morbido Film Festival ahead of a planned indie fest journey that should find the film reaping many rewards with its simple yet stark and creepy story centered around the rare occasion when there are two new moons in the same month; the second of which is known as a black moon. It is said that these irregular occurrences trigger supernatural events that occur within plain sight. 

In this case, "within plain sight" means an already creepy pedestrian tunnel that kind of looks like the place you ought to avoid even in broad daylight but you probably don't. In Black Moon, a young mother (Fabienne Tournet) is lured into the tunnel while walking home, a seemingly innocent choice inspired by the whimpering of a young girl (Jamie M. Timmons). Unaware of what has been awoken inside the tunnel, once inside the young mother finds herself seemingly unable to leave. 

Written by Daniel Shafer based upon Graff's story, Black Moon grabs you into its clutches early on, the mere concept of a seemingly innocent mother inching her way toward a seemingly haunting fate one that grabs you and haunts you and doesn't let you go in much the same way this seemingly evil entity refuses to let go of the mother. 

From the opening moments, Black Moon has you. 

With a background in sound for film, it probably shouldn't be surprising that Graff's Black Moon is most successful in its sound design and in Graff's ability to craft a film that is experiential, immersive, and so claustrophobic that it's practically in your face. Nathan Ruyle's sound design is ultra-effective, while Roman Fusco's sound effects editing captures the film's creepy potential to maximum effect. The film's visual effects are somewhat downplayed yet wisely utilized, while Kristina Ellery's makeup also deserves kudos. 

The film's ensemble cast is uniformly strong, Tournet's initial innocence turning convincingly into immersive terror while both Timmons and Brett DelBuono also turning in solid, convincing performances. 

Inspired by and filmed inside an actual pedestrian tunnel near Graff's Tarzana, California home, Black Moon is the kind of simple, creepy, and effective horror shorts that indie fest audiences love and the film should have if Graff so chooses, a rewarding festival run before exploring opportunities for indie streaming or distribution. For more information on the film, visit its Facebook page linked to in the credits. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic