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The Independent Critic

Joseph Camilleri, Nadia Latifi, Jeanne Young, Michael J. Gwynn, Germaine Gaudet, Iris Bertuccelli
Anthony DeRouen
12 Mins.

 "He Takes and Returns" Set for the Indie Horror Fest Circuit 
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Writer/director Anthony DeRouen's indie horror short He Takes and Returns is a mixed bag of creepy vibes, low-budget horror, and hints of post-traumatic psychological horror all wrapped within its 12-minute running time. In the film, John (Joseph Camilleri) and Helen (Jeanne Young) and their daughter Chrissy (Nadia Latifi) have their peaceful night shattered when a creature shows up and begins taking them one-by-one each time leaving a mysterious possession that serves as a conduit for its return. 

It's a simple story that amps up the action quickly with Nadia Latifi's Chrissy, in particular, serving up the chills as a young girl whose trauma over a previous break-in escalates the terror she feels with every bump in the night. 

However, you know how things go right? Just because you don't believe in the boogie man, doesn't mean he's not really there. 

While for my money He Takes and Returns is a less effective, compelling short film than DeRouen's other recent short film, The Last Showing, the film still has its creepiness factor and may very well prove pleasing to fans of ultra-low budget horror. Shot first, He Takes and Returns looks and feels more like an indie horror short with occasional sound mix issues and hit-and-miss acting and, I'd dare say, a creepy family vibe that hurts the film rather than helps it. 

On the plus side, Michelangelo Rodriguez's original music does wonders to enhance the film's suspenseful atmosphere and the film's production design is simple yet effective. 

For more information on He Takes and Returns, visit the filmmaker's website linked to in the credits. Watch for it at a festival near you, especially if you're on the West Coast. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic