Whisper (2015) – By Misty Layne

Whisper is a short psychological thriller written and directed by David Yosefovich Abramov, focuses on a man whose psyche is constantly whispering dark and dangerous things to him. The question the film explores is whether the man will listen to his darker side or if he’ll have the strength to ignore it. Set on Halloween night and also using the fable of the scorpion and the frog, “Whisper” is an intense look at our darker selves and the power they can hold over us.

Though only roughly 9 minutes or so, Whisper more than scratches the surface in its look at the duality of nature – of the warring of inner selves, the yin and the yang, the ego and the superego. Matthew is a man with no friends…well, he has one friend actually but that friend is a figment of his imagination – a man who refers to himself as Matthew’s “brother” and who stands by whispering in Matthew’s ear. Matthew’s “brother” isn’t just dangerous. As the film unfolds, we find him to be a bully and more than just a bit of an odd character. But then what would you expect from an imaginary friend? Right? One thing the “brother” insists he (and by proxy, Matthew) is not is “crazy”, which begs the question of whether this film is also meant to be taken as a look at certain mental illnesses. If so, it would be an interesting take but I’m not sure how I would feel about the film then…

As is, I found the film to be (mostly) unsettling and extremely well done. The story line was tight (until the ending where, for me at least, it fell apart) and there were some evocative shots of Halloween night that tied everything together nicely. Nicholas Wilder as “the brother” wasn’t just disturbing – he was downright terrifying. This is not a man you want to meet in a dark alley (and not just because he spends the majority of the film in a chicken suit). Despite his assertion that he and Matthew are not “crazy”, his behavior (hell, his EYES) begs to differ. And Tim Eliot owned “Matthew” – embodying nervousness, a need to please and to be accepted, and an annoyance with his ever-badgering “brother”. Kudos to the casting department for this one.

Really the only issue I have with this one is the ending. Right after the climax things seem to fall apart for whatever reason. Like everything was SO well done up to that point and then it just…petered out. It was almost as if a random ending had been thrown on. The only reason I know it wasn’t is because Matthew references something that is seen at the beginning of the film. So I’m not sure what happened there. Otherwise I think “Whisper” is a fabulous little film and one absolutely worth your time.

You can learn more about Whisper via the One Way or Another Productions website or the “Whisper” Facebook page!