Sunday 20 December 2020

Dark Film Review: What It Takes

Dark Film Review: What It Takes

Review By Casey Douglass

What It Takes

As a horror fan, I have to admit that I’ve wondered what it might be like to become one of the creatures in the films or books that I enjoy so much. I guess it’s a craving for power of some kind, especially if you feel a bit lacking in other areas of your life. What It Takes is a horror short that focusses on someone who is actually given the chance to achieve this transformation, in this case, to attend an interview in the hopes of become a vampire.

The film opens with a car pulling up at a house, depositing a man named Vic into the night. He knocks on the door. When he looks down at the note in his pocket, a flash-light illuminates his face, a woman is standing in front of the still closed front door, having made no sound on her arrival. Once inside the house, she tells Vic the rules of the interview: That he has to stay in the room, has to stay seated on the chair, and most importantly, that he must answer truthfully. Anything less is a “fail”, and she informs him that he “Is free to fail at any time.” Vic is ushered into the interview room and left in the candle-lit darkness. After some time, a woman is suddenly sitting in the chair opposite him, the only sign that she is there the way that her hair seems to catch the light. The interview has begun.

What It Takes

The interview is part curious chat, part interrogation. The woman says that she wants to get an idea of Vic’s substance, his true self, particularly what he wants and why he wants to become a vampire. She comes across as playful, wise and amused. Vic comes across as someone wanting to become more than he is, a bit of a loner, and as someone wanting more time to make the world a better place. As the interview progresses, the nature of things changes, and it is here that I will stop from fear of spoiling the plot. I will say that the interview as a whole, is the kind of conversation that is particularly riveting. I think this is because the desires and fears of one side are up against an inscrutable shadow woman who might just be able to fulfil them or snuff them out in one motion. The choice of words and the reward seemingly at stake certainly inject a pleasing tension to things.

The visuals of the film do a fine job of blanketing the narrative in murk and threat. There are also some nice touches that reveal a little of the nature of the vampire, without being glaringly “on the nose”. One example is seeing her hand pick up a wine glass, and when she returns it to the table, her fingers have become talons. Small moments of revelation that don’t linger, which play very nicely with how she and her assistant seem to come and go without even a pop in the air. The film is backed up by a suitably ominous, drone-based score, that lends a sense of danger and threat to every scene.

What It Takes

What It Takes was created by BloodScribe Creations for the 2nd annual Fright Film Competition in Ohio, and it scooped a number of Skelly Awards: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Music, Best Screamplay and Best Special Effects. It was premiered on YouTube on the Fourth of December, and you can watch the whole 14 minutes of it on YouTube. I really had fun with it and I recommend you have a peep.

Film Title: What It Takes

Studio: BloodScribe Creations

Director: DJ Remark

Written By: Jason Orr

Music By: Fyodor Novotny

Starring: Vincent Sarowatz, Angelia Green, Samantha Sather.