In today’s economy many filmmakers have taken the ultra-low or micro-budget route to making their movies. Some of those films sacrifice aspects of their finished product to accommodate those slashed budgets. COMMERCIUM, a micro-budget horror short film directed by Kris Taylor and written by Simon Laurence Doyle seem to be an exception to that current trend by delivering a movie that looks and sounds like other movies with budgets significantly higher than this one was made for.

Of course, money isn’t everything when it comes to filmmaking. The script and story still need to be enticing, and while I felt that it could use a little trim for pacing, they deliver an effective horror plot that maintains the slow-burn creep factor up until the end credits.

The main actor, Craig Pearson (looking like a young Nick Frost in this film) doesn’t deliver much in the way of dialogue throughout the film, but definitely gives a worthwhile performance as a father using some form of ritual in the hopes of bringing wealth to his wife and child, Lily. This movie delivers the classic “someone should check on the baby” trope but still keeps it fresh as whatever Pearson’s character (Paul Gamble) summoned seems to stalk him and the baby in their home. The director does the audience a service by keeping the “monster” in this movie mostly confined to shadows, reflections, and close-up shots to increase the scare factor (and probably save on makeup and other effects).

The score and overall sound design in the movie are another thing to call out, because in micro-budget movies, this is usually the thing that suffers the most. Not in COMMERCIUM though. The director, wearing multiple hats in the production of this movie, also is responsible for the score, which fits the tone and mood of the piece, while working in tandem with the cinematography to increase the suspense as the film progresses.

Not too much to dislike about COMMERCIUM other than the pacing, which at a total runtime of roughly fifteen minutes could do with a trim, as there were a couple areas where I felt my attention starting to drift. But otherwise, a fantastic example of how to make a good film on a tight budget.

Commercium | December 15, 2023 (United Kingdom) Summary: A micro budget, contained, supernatural horror short about a desperate father and husband who in the midst of a cost of living crisis, discovers a collection of curious artifacts and turns t... Read all
Countries: United KingdomLanguages: English

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