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Poe's Tell Tale Short Gets Madness Right

In the last few moments of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Norman Bates sits quietly still, utterly insane, engaged in a deep inner monologue. He looks slyly at the camera and thinks to himself that he wouldn’t even harm a fly. Then a menacing, evil grin sprouts across his face. This deranged energy is where actor Sonny Grimsley starts his journey as the protagonist in the entertaining horror short film The Tell Tale Heart. He tears into this role like a man who has just been served a porterhouse steak, his teeth sinking into the meat of Edgar Allen Poe's madness. Based on Poe's short story of the same name, the flowery prose depicts an arrogant narrator recounting his presumably clever cover up of a brutal murder. The film creates a dreamlike aesthetic with a disorienting timeline, swooping camera work, and a slurry of blood, guts and madness. It’s highly theatrical and chaotic, never letting the viewer gain a sense of equilibrium, much like Poe’s evocative story. I would have preferred a modern setting over the stylized period setting which is incredibly challenging to pull off even for big budget productions but I admire the filmmaker's pluck, and the committed cast. Film isn’t an easy medium but its easy to spot the dedication and passion of all those involved. These are fantastic results for an interdependently produced short film. Director McClain Lindquist, cast and crew had fun making this film and that feeling is crazy infectious.

Thank you to Bassmint Pros Films for providing a screener and the opportunity to review the film.

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