Thursday, February 22, 2018
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A FATHER’S DAY: A Beautifully Effective Zombie Short

A Father's Day is a short film told about an estranged pair of father-daughter zombies, and it is surprisingly effective.

A FATHER'S DAY: A Beautifully Effective Zombie Short

A Father’s Day is a wonderfully subversive short film that is rich with emotion and heart. The short film, written and directed by Mat Johns, follows father and daughter zombies Abi (Hazel Gibson) and George (Garth Maunders) as they stumble upon each other in the middle of a feeding session. The pair then attempt to reconnect, despite their somewhat peculiar circumstances.

Unconventionally Heartwarming

In the short’s mere nine minute run-time, the filmmakers are able to draw out an amazing amount of emotion. Almost instantly I cared for the two lead zombies; this is a true testament to both the amazing filmmaking on display here and the fantastic acting from both Hazel Gibson and Garth Maunders. Even without dialogue the pair are able to convince the audience of their past relationship as father and daughter; this is achieved through their excellent expressions and movements.

A FATHER'S DAY: A Beautifully Effective Zombie Short

source: Leapling Films

Another brilliant element of the short is its unique subversion of the zombie genre, which has become quite densely populated over the past decade with the likes of the immensely popular TV show The Walking Dead and large Hollywood blockbusters like World War Z. In the packed genre, it’s refreshing to see a zombie story where the main characters are not a group of survivors, but the zombies themselves.

Pure Cinema

The brilliant camerawork must also be commended; cinematographer Sam Twyman’s shot compositions are absolutely fantastic and really help draw out the emotion at every turn. Some of the short’s most effective shots feature a great use of slow motion, which instead of being used to ogle at impressive special effects, are being used to highlight raw emotion in the characters.

A FATHER'S DAY: A Beautifully Effective Zombie Short

source: Leapling Films

The whole short film is an excellent example of ‘pure cinema’, where visuals and movement are used to tell a compelling story, without the use of dialogue. This is achieved masterfully here, as the mise-en-scène and character expressions expertly tell the story. Whilst watching A Father’s Day, I was reminded of the works of Alfred Hitchcock, a director who had an excellent ability to tell a story without the use of dialogue.

A Father’s Day: Conclusion

In a genre which has become somewhat overstuffed over the past decade, A Father’s Day is a wonderfully subversive short film that is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. The tremendous acting and masterful directing all combine to make this a very effective short film that should not be missed. It is no surprise that it won Best Short Film at the Drunken Film Festival this year.

What are your thoughts on A Father’s Day?

A Father’s Day will be available via Short of the Week in 2018.

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Opinions expressed in our articles are those of the authors and not of the Film Inquiry magazine.

Dylan is a English Literature & Film undergrad and film critic. He loves all genres of film but has a particular love for science fiction and horror.

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