Review by Jay Kay
Lovesick is Written & Directed by Brian Weaver.
The line of reality and fantasy truly can get lost within horror. There are very few short films and stories that really get under my skin and make me look away. Why I know what I see is not real, the tale of “Lovesick” no doubt came from the inspiration of the modern day sick monsters in the dark corners as well as the raw exploitation films of yesteryear. Knowing Weaver somewhat, the innate fear and creation of the elder man came from him being a father.
Talking to so many artists, that aspect of what could happen god forbid, seems to influences what we see on the screen whether on purpose or not. With a story and performances that are scary honest, films like this scare me more than any slasher with knife, burned man with claws or spirit that disrupts. When a character reaches a level that desperation turns to justification, insanity turns to coping and terror turns to pleasure, you find yourself on the doorstep of Brian Weaver’s latest short film work “Lovesick”.
Teaming up with some of the most brilliant, respected and creative crew and minds like Alan Rowe Kelly (Editor) and Bart Mastronardi (Director of Photography and Producer), this tale of an elder man (Dough Barron) and his obsession with a family is just plain disturbing and twisted. Weaver, whose work in a variety of underground and indie horror projects includes the frightening slasher film “The Turnpike Killer”, the psychological tale of terror with “The Super” and entries into horror anthology films “Grindsplotation” and “60 Seconds to Die”, Weaver has taken his writing and directing talents to a brave as well as scary area.
Holding nothing back, the near 18-minute running time is a portrait of an elder man who we open up sitting in a park. Enjoying the day on a bench, he watches as well as listens to a family enjoying the day also. As the “Lovesick” man snaps pictures and follows from the park to their neighbourhood, your heart goes dark and your mind screams what the reality maybe as the elder man watches, moving closer and closer, planning the actions to get what he wants.
For me, “Lovesick” is endless vertigo within a too real nightmare. The short film never lags from almost the first minute of run time. Through a true craftsman touch and eye, we see the precise talent of Rowe Kelly who makes this tale of heinous events into a fluid piece of power horror short cinema. As each moment crashes into the next, the shock to your system within the sound edit and placement rattles you with each click of the shutter, step taken and scream finished. In addition to the sound and post production, the voyeuristic camera angles and mood intensive perspectives that camera artist Mastronardi creates, reminds me of the madness through the eyes of the madman in “Black Christmas”. Mastronardi’s almost human feel to the cinematography is dangerous and makes the viewer vulnerable as if you are looking through a peep hole that holds so many things to make you shake.
Weaver shows his talent of directing behaviours and performance effectively harnessing personal ticks, unimaginable habits and believable facial expressions. From his previous body of horror film work, we know that he is about the grit, the brutality and taking you to places you never want to go. He also thinks about the whole picture in each scene, finding the effective details to make each shot work. That showcased especially as “Lovesick” is placed in a mundane and cookie cutter neighbourhood that from the visual, you never would think anything could happen. Weaver’s location is perfect and really gives the tale power and fear as you don’t know who might be watching you from a far or who maybe next door to you in what seems like a safe neighbourhood. It’s a realistic sense of paranoia and terror that is captured in the casts performances. “Lovesick” takes you down into new levels of hell, you feel the desperation settle in and know it will not be okay no matter what justice comes to the lead character and the family.
In the dark vein of short films like Richard Powell’s “Heir”, Rob Dimension and Mike O’Mahony’s “Rabbit Hole” and Thomas Caruso “Zombie”, “Lovesick” is that dirty secret you will keep and feel rotting inside of you for watching. Yes, there is plenty of wrong with this short film and not for the faint of heart but that wrong is what makes it work so well.
Check it out on the film festival circuit if you dare and remember… It’s only a movie!
Check out more about the filmmaker, cast and crew at: