We’ve always made it a point to make ourselves a independent film friendly site, reviewing shorts and features from across the globe of new and aspiring filmmakers. For whatever reason, we’ve more often than not been contacted by Italian horror filmmakers, and each time, it’s been a wild ride. I don’t know if that’s to say independent filmmaking is on the rise in Italy, and horror is always a large chunk of the independent landscape, but typically we see more dramas from America, and that’s the people that approach us. So maybe it says something about the way the Italians are promoting themselves, reaching far and wide for someone to just watch the damn thing. Because that’s the hardest part after actually making an independent film: Getting it seen.
Today, I sat down to watch I’m Dead from writer/director Francesco Picone. It opens with a couple wandering the hills on a hike. Right away, it doesn’t waste time giving you visual information, where most films would be slow zooms or long shots of the couple talking, the camera cuts quickly and smoothly between the two, as we quickly understand their relationship as they talk and express their feelings.
The man, played by Frederico Mariotti expresses his love for Lisa (Elisa Forti) who rejects his sentiment and storms off angrily away from their camp site. As the man laments the argument, the cutting once again becomes quick and frantic, as the man begins to boil about the situation. As his frustration reaches a crescendo, however, he hears Lisa scream from somewhere in the woods. He goes to investigate, only to get caught in a bear trap, waking up in a place he doesn’t really want to be in.
As he watches unspeakable tortures on Lisa, the man loses grip, until a big surprise ending reveals what has been going on all along. The acting is good throughout, and the interesting camera angles and crane shots are nicely complimented by the moody cinematography. The ending is sure to split audiences, but it’s a good showcase for a young filmmaking talent in Francesco Picone and gets you wondering what he would do with a feature film. In the case of most short films, that’s the ultimate goal, and this short shows he is well on his way to getting his shot at a feature film.
The short is on YouTube where you can check it out for yourself: