Retribution (2012)

You know if a woman is tied up and gagged, the scene will likely not end well.

And now The Pop Culture Historian will do something it has never done before: Review a short film.

Retribution is a short horror film directed by Bernard Gray and released by Diamond Entertainment Productions starring Walter DeShields and Kara Zhang. Since the movie is so short at about 9 minutes long, I can’t really give a plot summary without divulging major plot points and giving something away.

If you ask me, the best horror movies are the ones that were made on a more modest budget. Retribution succeeded in being creepy, where blood is only visible in one scene (I’m looking at you, Saw 7). Both this movie and Saw 7 did a good job showing “slasher” and “blood” aren’t synonymous with “horror”. Overall, the movie was well acted, especially on the part of Zhang, and I thought Gray did a good job with his mise-en-scene throughout.

There was exactly one thing that bothered me: The music. I recognize that the production crew didn’t have a lot to work with, but I think music that was less distracting (or maybe not use music at all?) would have helped especially with the climactic scene in helping the atmosphere. If I had to nitpick, it also would have helped if the movie was a little longer to give the main character some more development. I wasn’t entirely sure what his motivation for his actions were.

Nonetheless, it is definitely a good effort on the part of the ensemble and crew, and I’m excited to see what else they have to offer.

Score: 3/4