Scythe (2015) – Jim Morazzini


Scythe is a fifteen minute reminder that the slasher film is not dead, it’s still deadly. A tense little vignette that, while complete in itself, could easily be part of a longer film. And, since the folk behind it are currently raising funding for a feature version it may soon be just that.

It’s plot is simple, a young woman is is walking home from her friend’s house when she gets a call warning her that the Grim Reaper Killer has escaped from custody. As she hurries home she sees a figure in the dark following behind her. There’s plenty of suspense and twists that I won’t spoil. I’ll just say even though you know it’s all building to a climax, it still produces a jump when it happens.

Apart from that the script stands out by actually being, for the genre, realistic. The dialogue sounds real and more importantly our heroine doesn’t do the usual boneheaded things we’re used to seeing in these films. It’s a refreshing change not to find myself face palming as characters trip over their own feet or seemingly go out of their way to tell the killer where they are. Jim Rothman, who wrote and directed it has a good feel for the genre and gets good help from actresses Andrea Mueller and Zailee Madrigal. It also helps that they look like real women, not the all silicone Barbie dolls seen in too many of these films.

There aren’t a lot of effects in the Scythe, but the main one is very well done, if a little dry. There is a lot of mood building and atmospheric photography though. A couple of shots done by candlelight are particular standouts.

The director has uploaded the film to Vimeo to help gather support for a feature version and you can see it there It’s fifteen minutes well spent.