I Love Sarah Jane

I Love Sarah Jane

****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Australian short film is in fine fettle, thanks in no small part to David Michôd. He - along with Nash Edgerton (who has executive producing credits here) - demonstrated a fine ability for wrong-footing an audience with short film Spider and here he once again proves he can provide horror kicks in a domestic setting. American director and co-writer Spencer Susser (who provided second camerawork for Spider) also shows a heap of potential.

A kid is out on his bike. On the handlebars is a picture of the girl of his dreams. The only thing wrong with the scene is the body parts strewn everywhere. You sense the four horsemen of the Apocalypse have already been here, done that and bought the T-shirt. The boy and his mates are doing the stuff teenagers do, hanging out, playing games that involve throwing rocks or shooting arrows - only they're using live bait for target practice: a zombie. Meanwhile, the boy on the bike is trying to make out with that girl of his dreams, but how will he make his move? And what has happened to all the adults?

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With so many zombie features and, indeed, zombie shorts around, it's hard to make something that feels new, but by mixing up the trappings of a naturalistic coming of age drama with the horror (a tactic also employed to superb effect in Let The Right One In), this short takes a different tack, breathing life and spirit into the undead. Solid acting also lifts the piece, while David Trethewey and Mike Seymour supply admirable visual effects. Michôd is reported to be preparing his debut feature, crime drama Animal Kingdom at the moment. It's arguably another genre that needs a kick up the cliche. My money's on Michôd to provide it.

Reviewed on: 28 Jun 2008
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A 13-year-old will stop at nothing to win the heart of the girl of his dreams.

Director: Spencer Susser

Writer: David Michôd, Spencer Susser

Starring: Brad Ashby, Mia Wasikowska, Vladimir Matovic, Beau South, Peter Yacoub, Richard Mueck, Anton Enus

Year: 2008

Runtime: 14 minutes

Country: US


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