Sparks: A Short Horror Film (2014) – By Josh Samford

When it comes to the short films that I’ve reviewed for Rogue Cinema in the past, it seems that the vast majority have been interesting exercises put on by the filmmakers. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, as it is the way an artist gets better. It is a valuable way to hone your craft while developing ideas about the film making process. Unfortunately, the brilliant ideas are few and far between when one looks around on the independent level. There are plenty of interesting projects, but it takes a while before you run into one or two that knock your socks off. Without attaching too much hype to the film, I must confess, David McCool’s “Sparks: A Short Horror Film” is one of the brilliant ones.

The story detailed in this short basically goes like this: It opens with a man sitting at his computer typing away, but he is soon distracted by a series of events within his house. As he makes his way around his home, he begins to notice a few things being out of place. As he investigates, he finds that he may not be alone. To give away more would risk taking away from the incredibly cool twists and turns within the plot.

With Sparks, David McCool has crafted a story that manages to elevate his short film into something unique and special. Visually, the film is interesting, and McCool (who is the only actor in the movie) provides a very solid performance, but it within this intriguing story is where the movie finds its legs. Focusing on paradoxes and some rather heady material, Sparks manages to take its 5 minutes of screentime, jump deep inside the viewer’s mind, and then force them to think about the movie for much longer than its actual running time. McCool is currently working on his next project, a work that he describes as “more ambitious,” which will be a longer short by the name of A Bloodstained Butterfly. This will be the first (or certainly one of the first) Polish slasher movies. Here is hoping that we get many more mind-blowing movies from McCool within the future! If you would like to see the movie for yourself, check it out here: https://vimeo.com/83426106 and then hit like on the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SparksAShortFilm.