Shading Betrayal (2014) – By Christian Nelson

Writer/director Paul Bridges’ new short film tells the story of Jake, a successful tattoo artist, in his attempt to propose marriage to Sky, his longtime girlfriend. But there’s trouble in paradise as things don’t quite go as planned, inspiring a creative act of revenge.

Shading Betrayal succeeds in transporting the viewer into Jake’s world of modern day UK. Kel Lupton accomplishes Jake’s “bad ass” counter-culture look while maintaining some solid acting chops. Faye Elise Bennett (Sky) lends her talent as well, and while she doesn’t share as much screen time as Kel, she more than makes up for it in her ability to perform in the more physically revealing scenes of the film. And yes, this is intended for mature audiences.

Where the film lost me was around the middle, where we see Jake’s downward spiral into anger and self-loathing. This could’ve perhaps benefited from a flashback explaining Sky’s desire for the elaborate tattoo.

But I’m confident viewers will finish the film, which clocks in at 12 minutes. The ending is very appropriate, and worth it.