This short film comes from Kharybdis Films. A Philadelphia based production company that focuses on films that feature strong female characters. Not only does Reverb feature a strong female lead, but it was written & directed by Samantha Paradise -- no doubt a strong female herself.

Reverb begins with Helia, a young woman who we see having a phone conversation with a friend about a recent break-up. As Helia tries to have a positive “maybe it’s all for the best” attitude, she soon learns that her ex hasn’t been seen or heard from in days. Is he taking the break up harder than first thought, or is it something more sinister?

As days go on, Helia grows more and more concerned for the well being of her “Cup Cake” -- her former lover -- as well as herself as she starts to experience the uneasy feeling of being stalked in her own home.

The story ends by revealing Helia’s true nature in a flashback that introduces her “Cup Cake”, what caused the two to break-up in the first place and what happened as a result of that break-up. You could say that Helia has skeletons in the closet. Muhhaha!

Reverb is a simple, but strong story about spurned lover who reaches out from beyond the grave to send a message to Helia, that the truth about her will be discovered.

What makes Helia a great character is her seemingly innocent and nurturing nature. But looks can be deceiving.

We also see that she has been taking several prescriptions drugs, for what we never learn, but this hints at Helia being mentally unstable. Her prescriptions also suggest the idea that what she sees and hears while being haunted may not be happening at all and perhaps it’s her guilty conscious. I think it’s safe to say that Reverb is probably influenced at least in part by Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”. All of this together gives the viewer plenty to consider during the films 16MIN. run time.

My only real criticism addresses the appearance of her haunting stalker. He is presented as a shadowy man in a hoodie. Periodically there is the use of a digital effect that makes him look as though he is flickering. It’s not a bad look for a creepy apparition. However, I could have done without it. This way the viewer wouldn’t yet know that he is an apparition and would lend those scenes some ambiguity. Again, more the viewer to consider.

All and all Reverb is a pretty good little short that you should be on the look out for during this upcoming festival season. If you’re like me and you love classic horror, then you‘re guaranteed to appreciate Reverb and it’s twist ending.

For more info about Reverb, check the interview Synergomatique did with Samantha. And of course check out the Kharybdis Films website as well.


★ ★ ★