You may recognize Alev Aydin as Franky from his last hit film LONELY BOY, but this time he is behind the camera as both writer and director for his short film FELLY. This film packs in a good amount of story in a short time, and delivers in both mood and tone. Produced by Troy Daniel Smith, Aydin, Tim Weber, and Raheem Williams, the story opens with a phone call and mysterious, bloody man. The caller is asking for help, obviously in distress. The man on the other end is trying to calm him down and simultaneously get his location. We don’t see the events that are transpiring and the tension is building. By the end, when we have the full story. We see why FELLY was so distressed, and get a glimpse into his not-so-on-the-up-and-up home life as well.
The first thing that stands out about FELLY is the lighting. The use of bright reds, blues, and strong hues really gives accent, gravitas, and depth to each scene. Even warm lighting in some scenes can help to echo some sinister undertones in a character’s dialogue. Many filmmakers often light their sets and actors, but few, if any in modern cinema, light for the scene. It really echoes 70’s and 80’s horror and giallo films more than anything.
Secondly, Aydin knows how to show, and keep, tension within a scene. During one particular scene with Felly and a female actor (Meagan Campbell); without giving too much away, starts with a tease, and really ramps up the pressure and doesn’t let go. The next scene dials it up further with a police investigating Felly’s disappearance. Felly’s family is obviously mobbed up, and completely ignoring the police in their house while the bloody man from the beginning comes into the view, having done some investigating of his own on someone in the another room.
The acting is good overall. The lighting and cinematography (shot by Patrick Meade Jones) is fantastic as already stated, and the story itself is pretty tight. My only complaint is that another minute or so wasn’t given towards the end to see how we came to said ending (yes, this I’m being vague, but I’d hate to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet). The writer/director could have shaved off some time with Felly and Jillian’s characters earlier to explore this more. Another thing of note was a great use of score. In this case the music (done by Matt Dahan) not only heightened the tension and suspense, but the absence of score in some places really added gravity to some parts as well. There’s a great ear on this team for silence and stillness.
The disappearance of a fragile, teenage boy leaves his dysfunctional family helpless and desperate for answers.