Written and directed Matthew D. Gilpin and starring the talents of Deri Evans, Eleanor Scholz and Ella Cumber, Better Than You is a short horror film about a shapeshifter and a home invasion. Cleverly pitting one actor against his doppelganger is not only a smart way to save on cost but something that can truly be quite harrowing if the actor has the chops to pull off opposing personalities. It also begs the question: “Are you the best version of you?”
Better Than You is a polished short film with some very clever cinematography. Even in the very first scene, we witness some sneaky play with mirrored reflections foreshadowing what is to come. The film wastes no time leaping into action gets very dark very quickly. While clearly a horror film, Better Than You manages to sneak in a couple of lines fo dialogue that are–at the very least–meant to get those old gears grinding while you contemplate your own self-importance. How replaceable are you?
Director Gilpin had this to say about his vision for the film:
Better Than You was originally written about the insecurity and anxiety that comes with feeling replaceable. What better metaphor than a shapeshifter! At time of writing, this was in relation to the work I was doing, but at time of filming, I was dealing with feeling replaceable in other areas of my life. Some minor changes to the script were made to channel that.
I found the short very clean. The editing was intelligent and the angles were really what made the film. The score is really apt but I didn’t like the “shapeshifting” sound as it was a little much. The acting was good though the protagonist’s reactions seemed a little too calm; as if his fight-or-flight mode needed perhaps a little more coffee. Overall, I thought it a decent offering that should be rather popular at festivals. Give it a watch! Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Poster and link to the short film below.
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