A NOISE THAT CARRIES **** Canada 2019 Dir: Guillermo de la Rosa. 15 mins
Venezuelan born, Toronto-based filmmaker Guillermo de la Rosa (and drummer for the band Xaviera) makes his horror film and English language debut with this genuinely chilling short inspired by “Staircase”, an episode from “The Knifepoint Horror” podcast by Soren Narnia. It is unusually centered around a terrified male protagonist, well played by Paul Payne. Payne is alone in his house waiting for his ex-wife to pick up her stuff and he becomes fixated on the sense that a hostile stranger has joined him uninvited. A local woman (Lee Lawson) reports the disturbances and the neighbourhood watch group get on the case but the sense of unease mounts superbly under Rosa’s controlled direction. It’s low key, with sparse use of music and a determination to show as little as possible for as long as possible – but it also has a brilliant sequence involving a joke played by Lawson’s character that might well be the creepiest ever deployment of a “fake” scare. The agonising tension of the build-up pays off with a suitably alarming climax.
Review by Steven West