Directed by: Jeremiah Kipp
Written by: Russ Penning
Genre: Realistic "Horror"
Have you ever sat down and stared at a painting, and while looking at the subjects and the backgrounds try to conjure up a story for these fictional people and places? This is precisely how I felt when watching Crestfallen, a 2011 short film directed by Jeremiah Kipp.
I find it best to describe this short film as a painting not only because of the thoughts and emotions it arises, but also because there isn't a word of dialogue through the film. No form of diagetic sound exists at all. Instead we are treated to a hauntingly beautiful score by Harry Manfredini (known for his work with the Friday the 13th series), matched up with a series of memories of the main character of the film.
One could argue that this isn't technically a horror film, and in their own beliefs they could be correct, however, the film deals with multiple "realistic" horrors that every one of us fears in our daily lives: infidelity by a loved one, broken hearts, suicide. Crestfallen deals with all of these realistic horrors in a way that, tragically, many would also deal with them.
Without a word of dialogue, this short film relies on the use of lighting, framing, and scoring to invoke a sense of dread in the individual. In today's impatient society, it is hard to capture and maintain a consistant interest from the viewer in film without having a plethora of scenes of blood, gore, nudity and violence. However, Crestfallen has managed to execute this challenge beautifully, as I found myself engaged and constantly trying to figure out what has happened to this poor girl.
Another brilliant aspect of this film is that not only does it deal with the realistic horrors of life, but there is an underlying theme of survivalism with the good and the bad. In other words, it allows us to reconsider how bad things really are, and whether our extreme decisions are really the best options on how to deal with them. If your boyfriend or girlfriend has cheated on you, should you really feel the need to end your life? Can all the good times you had counter the one soul-crushing moment you have experienced? This is just one of the many questions I asked myself after seeing this film, a film that will leave you thinking even after the final frame.
The film can be seen here