Veteran editor Thomas Perrett proves to be just as skilled when sitting in the director's chair with Commune, a jarring and suspenseful short starring Tom Weller (Renford Rejects) as a man tasked with being the guardian of a rundown London house that had previously been host to a commune.
Of course, nothing is ever really quite that simple. Is it?
There's more going on with this "house" and before long we learn that it may very well be this man who needs protected.
A low-budget horror short that picked up the prize for Best Horror Short at the London Independent Film Festival, where it had its world premiere, Commune has also picked up a prize for Mike Payne's original music at Festival du Film Merveilleux & Imaginaire and just this past weekend screened at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema.
Perrett shot the film at an appropriately creepy locale, an abandoned home that had housed a Jewish commune on Lordship Park in North London. While the house had been tagged for rehab, Perrett got it while it was still in prime condition to give the film an authentic and incredibly creepy vibe.
That vibe is enhanced by Mike Paynes's award-winning original music, which infuses the film with a quiet urgency and low-key sense of dread that works perfectly with Perrett's nicely paced script and Weller's understated yet anxiety-inducing performance.
Weller's a gem here. There's a lot lying underneath the surface of Commune and while much of it is contained within Perrett's cript, one can't give enough credit to Weller for a disciplined, multi-layered performance that goes far beyond what one usually expects to find in an indie horror short. Robin Green's sound design is quite remarkable given the film's financial constraints - it's clear that Perrett has networked well and attracted a fine production team to work alongside him.
Commune has little pieces throughout the film's nearly 16-minute running time, I'd hesitate to call them actual Easter eggs, but they're little gems of information that hint at a far bigger story than can possibly unfold within the film's running time. That said, Commune also works just fine as a short film and left me incredibly satisfied by film's end.
For more information on Commune, visit the film's Facebook page linked to in the credits and if it arrives at a film fest near you definitely give this one a watch.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic