By Midnight Movie Mama
June 27, 2020
“Art is Long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating,
Funeral marches to the grave.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Tell Tale Heart starts with the poem of Longfellow, which we all can appreciate pertaining to this infamous story. Much appreciated is the retro-yet-recent feel of the movie. It is something to behold. We follow the caretakers journey in this short film caring for an old man, murder, and a descent into complete madness. Everything one could love about one of Poe’s infamous thrillers, really.
From the very start we can see that the old man’s caretaker has a problem with the old man’s “evil” eye. Although he admittedly loves the old man, this evil eye haunts him and I have to say, it would probably haunt me too. Our caretaker believes that he can actually see hell in the old man’s eye. While the prosthetic used for the facial features of the old man is apparent, it is not so jarring that it takes away from the story, nor the ever important evil eye.
The overall cinematography and acting was good. The glibness of the caretaker is both annoying and amusing. There is a retro-aesthetic for our detective and the female police officer working with him is a spitfire. They are a wonderful clash of an old school Hollywood detective and a modern day strong police woman. As they investigate they cannot seem to get a straight answer out of the riddlesome caretaker, especially as he begins to delve deeper into his own madness.
I would again say that the stroke of genius comes with that of the caretakers unraveling as he is interrogated. Once we get a glimpse as to what he has done, it is only a matter of time before his sanity starts to unravel before our very eyes. What originally brought the police into this matter? Screaming. Who was screaming? The caretaker.
I found the ending to be perfectly fitting for the movie. The caretaker has gone completely mad, alone in a room with the knife he used to stab the evil eye with.
Overall this short was an entertaining take on one of my favorite works of Poe.
Review can be found at: https://horrornerdonline.com/post/622094433581711360/horror-reviews-thetelltaleheart-the-tell
By Bad Movie Night
June 24, 2020
Review can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Vky7SfsCqw
By Phillip Wilcox
June 23, 2020
In 1843 author Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Tell-Tale Heart was published. I first read it in the 9th grade, and as being the angsty teenager I was, gravitated toward darker literary material. That is when I found the work of one Edgar Allan Poe.
I feel like the mainstream public would be mostly familiar with his story The Raven. But as his writings may mainly deal with grief, loss, tragedy and madness, The Tell-Tale Heart I felt was the most maddening of his works as it told the story in a first person narrative of a man whose sanity is unraveling whilst confessing to the murder in such grisly fashion of the Old Man that is under his care.
The Tell-Tale Heart is one that is filled with guilt…
First time director McClain Lindquist has captured and respectfully preserved the essence of Poe’s story, maintaining the original text for the narrator (played brilliantly and fearlessly by Sonny Grimsley), all the while injecting strikingly beautiful and brutal images to accompany the storytelling with such immaculately hypnotic and disorienting editing.
I dare not even think to go on without mentioning the Special Makeup FX Team and their work of such gorgeous grotesqueries on display. They really made those close up shots worth every second to be seen.
There have been other adaptations of this story. But this one stands out on its own, with a spotlight of its own, never thinking to share in anyone else’s. And I respect the hell out of that. Watching 20 some odd minutes of this story play out in the hands of this cast and crew was like breathing in new air.
Review can be found at: https://philthemovieguyreviews.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/the-tell-tale-heart-a-review/
By Erica Richards
June 19, 2020
If you are not familiar with the works of the famous Edgar Allen Poe, the first thing you should know is his material is not for the faint of heart. Poe almost always discusses extremely dark themes surrounding murder and horror. His work has influenced many films and directors throughout history, whether it be an actual remake of Poe’s work or just inspiration from it. The Tell-Tale Heart is Poe’s story: a narrator attempts to justify his sanity to the audience while, at the same time, recounting a murder the narrator committed. Twisted, unnerving, and gorey, this version was still very much Poe-esque.
Basically, the narrator is a young man who is the caretaker of an unrelated elderly man who he eventually murders with a knife, Psycho-style. The police officer and detective question the narrator in an attempt to get him to confess, while the audience experiences the narrator’s delusions surrounding the murder. We see his gruesome attack intercut between the current discussions with the police officer and detective. The pace is even and all the parts of the story and visuals come back around and get tied up like a nice bow.
The special effects, makeup, editing, and cinematography are fantastic. There are multiple times throughout the 20-ish minutes of this short film where I thought to myself, “This is high-quality production.” But still, somehow, it as a whole falls short. The unmatched attire and persona of the characters felt awkward–it was unsure if it was meant to be set in a modern day era because the only character who fit that mold was a police officer in a standard, recognizable uniform. It felt confusing and out of place against everything else. The house looks like it was straight out of an Agatha Christie novel, except for the modern day cars parked in the front yard. The detective, narrator, and old man seemed to be from a period piece. The writing seemed almost pretentious, as if it was trying too hard when it didn’t need to.
I understand and appreciate an attempt at something different; a remake of a classic that has been remade time and time again. However, I think if this version of The Tell-Tale Heart would have chosen a modern direction and stuck to it, it could have really worked. Instead it is an extremely visually appealing and gruesome horror story that packs a lot into a short timeframe, yet just slightly misses the mark. All of that being said, I still very much enjoyed it and was fully entertained.
Review can be found at: https://www.crpwrites.com/thetelltaleheartshortreview
By Brian Schell
June 1, 2020
The narrator asks us to see how calmly he can tell the story, as we flash back to see his crime. We all know the famous Edgar Allen Poe story already, so the spoilers here are unavoidable, but it’s still fun.
We see the narrator caring for an old man. He loves the old man, but the old man’s freaky, milky eye really bothers the young narrator. He sneaks into the old man’s room and watches “the eye.” It disturbs him more and more, as he imagines all sorts of terrors behind the evil eye. He eventually snaps and kills the old man. Will he get away with his crime?
With a story this well-known, the fun is in the way the story is presented. The whole dramatic structure of this story is the author’s descent into madness, and Sonny Grimsley pulls it off pretty well. The effects, pacing, and editing are all very modern and it was hard to look away for the length of the film.
It’s interesting that the narrator has a cheesy English accent and does dialog straight from the Poe story, while the detectives and other people just speak normally. The cinematography is really sharp, and the effects are great too. The old man’s rubber face is a little obvious, but it’s not too bad.
They really paid a lot of attention to this, even the credits and the soundtrack are good. Watch this if you’re a Poe fan; watch this if you aren’t— It’s way better than getting buried under the floor!
Review can be found at: https://www.horrorguys.com/short-film-the-tell-tale-heart-2020/