[Cinepocalypse 2019 Short Film Review] Water Horse

Max (Charlotte Rea), her husband Dylan (Darren Bailey) and their young daughter Lily (Lilith Hurley) are spending a day on a rocky beach. As they are introduced, a simple piano tune plunks along in the background. It should be a cheery day, but the piano keeps hitting a minor or off key note and before long, a creepy violin crescendos, telling us this isn’t going to be a typical day at the beach. Then an abandoned canoe drifts to the beach, filled with junk and discarded toys. And someone is lurking in their house…

Written by Sarah Wisner and co-directed between her and Sean Temple, Water Horse is an 8 minute exercise is tension building. They use montages and music to really sell a particular feeling of confusion and paranoia through the slight runtime. It’s beautifully shot and filled with unique touches to keep the viewer slightly off skew. The story felt discombobulated and out of sync in the best way, creating a nightmare-filled experience of dreamlike logic and sequences.

I’d recommend checking it out if given a chance at festivals or when it inevitably gets released.