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Torn

SparkFest

Burdall’s Yard

29th May 2018

Torn is a short film about three lads hanging out in a forest. Sam has invited mates Matthew and Ryan to his favourite spot for a heart-to-heart, hinting that it’s about something important. To the others’ confusion, Sam is acting very vague and sets out some rules: no mobile phones, and have fun before he divulges the big secret.

But a tragic ending to a game of hide and seek cuts this short. Who’s to blame, and can their friendship ever be the same again?

Although we didn’t have long to be introduced to each character, their personalities clearly fitted into a certain mould: Sam (George Hyde) is playful with leadership qualities; Matthew (director Jacob Auger) is the straight-thinking friend; and then there’s Ryan (Lee Epton), the dim-witted comic relief. Epton could make the entire audience howl with laughter using the smallest action or piece of dialogue.

From a technical viewpoint I have a few critiques: there’s sometimes audio and lighting differences between cuts, and the camera zooms in unnecessarily during undramatic moments. As nice as the location was, there were too many shots of the characters simply walking through the forest. However, all these observations are minimal.

The ten-minute film leaves us with some unanswered questions. While I’m a fan of ambiguous endings, I personally felt that Torn unlocked some doors that were a little too big to leave open. There’s room for some improvement in the storytelling and its execution.

Overall, Torn was well received by the audience during its premier screening and was enjoyable to watch.

***

Lauren Skillman