Crepuscule (2011) – By Duane L. Martin

I have no idea what the name means, so don’t ask. It’s hard to even type correctly without having to correct the spelling, but Crepuscule, from Canadian film maker Eric Faldareau, is something really different that I don’t often come across in the world of independent film. It’s a stop motion animation short, and when I say stop motion animation, I mean real stop motion animation, not CGI. The film is just under twenty minutes long, but anyone who knows what goes into the stop motion process can imagine the amount of time and effort that went into putting that twenty minutes together. That’s a huge amount of work!

So, what’s the film about? Honestly, I have no idea. I know that sounds facetious, but in a way it’s true. I can, and will tell you what I saw, but I really didn’t understand it much. That’s not a bad thing though, and I’ll tell you why when I get to that point, but first let’s go over what I saw. Basically, the film takes place in what looks like a largely dead forest. There are these creatures that vaguely look like angels made out of clay, though they have no eyes and they look only about 80% formed. There’s also a pair of fully formed humans running around in this forest. They’re naked, so I’m guessing this is taking place somewhere around the dawn of time. When I say they’re running around, they don’t spend a lot of time running. Mostly they just have sex every two seconds. The angel creatures are fascinated by this, and watch from a distance. Once the two are done and passed out sleeping each time, the angel creatures approach and examine their bodies without disturbing them. The more the angels become fascinated by the two humans however, the more of them gather each time. Eventually, the humans wake up and find them standing all around and freak out. At this point, the angels drag them off into the woods and kill them, tearing off their sex organs and then they try to place them on their own bodies, at which point they emulate the various sex acts and positions on one another. Then it starts raining and they all melt away into nothingness.

Crazy stuff huh? While it doesn’t make a lot of sense from a story standpoint, I have to say that this thing is literally like watching a nightmare. It’s that creepy, and will definitely have an effect on the viewer at that level. In that sense, this film really works, because it’s very visually disturbing. The angel creatures are particularly creepy and the fact that they’re only partially formed and lacking eyes and fully formed ears, makes them even more so.

This isn’t the kind of a film you watch for the story really. You watch it because it’ll affect you in a very primal and creepy way visually. I once had a VHS tape (yeah I’m old n’ stuff…shut up!) called Animation for Fallen Catholics that had a lot of shorts that were similar, in that they were made to creep you out in some sort of a primal way that you couldn’t quite put your finger on. This is that type of a film, and it really, really works at that level.

There’s not a lot more to say about it really. The stop motion was good, albeit a little jerky, but never jerky to the point where it was bad. This isn’t Wallace and Grommit, but it was really done quite well, and it’s a short that horror fans will definitely want to check out. Hell, this film will probably affect you more than a lot of the live action horror films out there.

Eric Faldareau’s blog is at http://www.crepusculefilm.blogspot.com. You can check it for any news and updates about Crepuscule, but unless you speak French, you’ll need a translator, as all the entries are in French.