Tuesday 18 February 2014

Dark Review - Black Spot

Black Spot Review

By Casey Douglass

Black Spot is a horror short from Sussex based film maker Luther Bhogal-Jones. It takes place on lonely country lanes and is a quick and macabre tale that should make anyone weary of leaving their broken down car.

It was shot with a tiny budget of less than £150. The small £28 Aiptek 3D camcorder was a gift and was no larger than a Blackberry. Unlike a Blackberry though, it unfortunately suffered from having a terrible battery life. Black Spot itself was designed to be a test for the dinky camera, to see what kind of production could be put together with such a seemingly budget device.

The short itself follows Paul after his car breaks down. He decides to go it on foot and walks through the dreary and rain soaked countryside. He happens upon another car which has also broken down. Here things take a macabre turn and Paul must put his recent bad actions aside and fight to survive.

Black Spot is available to watch in 2D, and two types of 3D (stereoscopic and red/cyan). Sadly I could only judge the 2D version as I don't have the means to watch stereoscopic 3D. I also could not lay my hands on a little pair of red/cyan 3D glasses which I know I have somewhere. They were free with something when I was little and are made of orange cardboard with a cartoon dinosaur on the front. Sigh.

I enjoyed watching Black Spot and found it to be engrossing and sinister at the same time. I know that Luther was going for a 70's bleak horror feel, a bit grindhousey and tongue-in-cheek, and I think he achieved that here. I particularly liked the scenes interspersed with the credits as they were the most humorous for me. The soundtrack was excellent and really complimented the brooding skies and the actions of the characters.

I think that it shows that whatever the equipment you have available, be it a budget camcorder or an IMAX beast, if you use it properly and have good ideas, you can still achieve something that works to convey your vision and style.

Black Spot can be watched here in the 3 formats mentioned. You will also find Luther's other horror short Creak which is well worth a watch and which I will be reviewing another time.

Rating: 4.5/5