Recently, this horror fan was lucky enough to sit through a viewing of a new age slasher that's absolutely to die for. Scythe is a short horror film written and directed by Jim Rothman, the extraordinarily talented young filmmaker behind award-winning shorts such as I'm Not Matt Damon, Going Down There, and Minutes. The film stars Andrea Muller, Zailee Madrigal, Jose C. Alvarez and Jim Rothman.
With a running time of only 15 minutes, you'd never guess that the footage shot was originally intended to attract investors for a full-length film. The pacing, restraint and atmosphere created in Scythe are a testament to the talent and craftsmanship Rothman possesses. I'm always extremely cautious when drawing comparisons between postmodern horror films and the classic scarefests we all know and love. I must admit though, Scythe's sleek visual style and unique ability to create tension is reminiscent of John Carpenter's iconic horror film Halloween. To say Scythe is as good as Carpenter's 1978 masterpiece wouldn't be fair to the filmmakers behind this cool and poignant independent short. What I will say without question is that the movie delivers its narrative and its chills in that same great spirit. Sure to be a hit with stalk and slash fans that like a little suspense with their mayhem, Scythe has promise. It also has a real chance to give disciples of the sub-genre what they're always patiently waiting for, a bloody and thrilling new franchise.
I could give you the plot, however I'd rather let you see for yourself. Here's the full 15 minute short:
Rothman and his crew are currently in the process of securing the funding to give us all a full-length feature version of Scythe, and its Grim Reaper Killer. After catching the film, I was lucky enough to get a few words with writer and director Jim Rothman. I asked Jim what his plans were going forward with the project and here's what the excited young filmmaker told me:
"We shot 15 minutes of footage to show our investors and it was a complete short, we realized we had something that played well and decided to submit it in some festivals. We premiered at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, and then we just screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival.Next month we are screening at the Things 2 Fear Fest in Dallas, TX. It's really been a lot of fun seeing people react so positively to our film. As you know probably though, independent film exists because passionate filmmakers like myself and others decided to not let anything stand in their way in the pursuit of making and sharing their passion projects with everyone. I've been fortunate enough to be able to finance my own projects till now, but on this one I need some help to make the film we really think the fans deserve"
Here's a synopsis for Rothman's vision of a feature length version of Scythe.
Plot: On the week of prom night in Concord North Carolina, Ronald Wade, known as The Grim Reaper Killer, escapes a prison transport and breaks into a hardware store, surprising high school student Emily Johnson, the store owner's daughter. Under the cover of the store's blackout, a hide-or-be killed cat and mouse game ensues, ending with several stab wounds to Emily's back with a SCYTHE, the killer's signature weapon.
A television left on breaks the news of the Grim Reaper's escape and highlights his exploits, as he swings a scythe at Emily, beheading her. She becomes his latest victim. And his first mistake.
With prom cancelled and a mandatory curfew in effect, shy teen Megan Miller is forced by her best friend Kim to meet with Amy, Vicky, Rebecca, and Jennifer after hours at a local abandoned pool for a party. At the pool party Megan opens up about her desire to be great, to be worthy of someone worth knowing. This confession leads the girls to bond and build a sisterhood to watch out for one another. Unbeknownst to them outside hovers the Grim Reaper Killer, targeting them as his newest victims.
Scythe definitely sounds like a winner to me, Horror Hounds. If you're interested in helping to make this indie horror film a reality, I've provided a link to the project's Kickstarter page here: Scythefund. I know that personally I can't wait to see Scythe slash its way to cinemas everywhere.
That's all for now terror fans, never fear though. You know your old buddy Jay will be back soon to share even more great horror movies. It's always a pleasure to help my fiendish friends find the equally fiendish films they love to cuddle up with. Don't forget to follow me here to get all my horror related articles and reviews. See ya soon, Horror Hounds.