Tailypo (2015) – By Philip Smolen

 

Out in the Kentucky woods an old man named Levon (David Chattam) is hunting with his dog Jasper. Life has been pretty tough for the both of them recently. They haven’t had much to eat and they need to find something to fill their bellies. Suddenly, Levon sees a dark shape in the woods and fires at it. Amazingly, he finds that his shot has severed the creature’s tail. Thrilled with his catch, Levon and Jasper head back home to their cabin to cook their meal. But once night falls, Levon sees something strange out in the darkness. It’s a dog-like creature with bright yellow eyes – and the creature begins talking to him. In a scratchy voice the creature demands its tail back or else!

“Tailypo” is a 15 minute short film from writer/director Cameron McCasland and it’s a creepy and unsettling movie. From the opening frame, McCasland strives to create a disturbing and eerie mood and he succeeds in spades. Even in the daylight, the Kentucky forest where Levon and Jasper live looks foreboding and sinister. It seems devoid of life and a place that only those who don’t want to be found could possibly exist in. McCasland slowly builds up the tension until by time the creature attacks, you’re on the edge of your seat.

David Chattam is great as Levon. He plays him as a simple man who just doesn’t’ understand that he’s brought the wrath of a supernatural creature down on himself. There are no other actors in the film so Chattam carries the film’s entire emotional center by himself. He successfully conveys Levon’s fear and confusion.

McCasland has carefully crafted a retro thriller with practical effects that feels almost like it’s one of the segments from an unfinished horror anthology from the 1970s or 1980s. Based on an old Appalachian folk legend, “Tailypo” is a smart and effective horror short.

 

To watch “Tailypo”, please go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_OuZtp6dQU

For more information on “Tailypo”, please go to: http://cameronmccasland.com