By Luke Barnes
October 24, 2020
The Tell-Tale Heart is a horror short film directed by McClain Lindquist. The film serves as a modern reimagining of the classic Edgar Allen Poe tale of the same name. The plot sees a man (Sonny Grimsley), be driven to madness and murder and we the audience are left to put the pieces together.
Sonny Grimsley might be my favourite performance of the year so far, or at least in my top 5. This narrator character perfectly capture the sense of the original tale and is so wonderfully disconcerting throughout, you never want to turn your back on him. There is an elements of mania to the performance that really heightens it into being something special.
I really enjoyed the practical effects in this film, I thought they had a great retro feel to them and the horror as a whole reminded me of classic 80’s pieces; I will admit I am a sucker for a good practical effect.
I thought the film itself was quite scary and threatening and had many moments in its short runtime that sent a chill down my spine. I would easily recommend this to any horror fan. You don’t need to be familiar with the Poe original to enjoy this either which is helpful for newcomers.
Overall, an incredibly strong horror short that is reminiscent of early Sam Raimi or Joe Dante which is high praise indeed.
Being friendly to newcomers as well as a good adaption of the Poe original
Nicely paced and perfectly edited
By Luis Franceschi
October 15, 2020
Projects like this one fill my heart with absolute joy. An elegant, terrifying and well-orchestrated sequence of images, that as its name indicates, uses one of the quintessential stories by Edgar Allan Poe as a base, but which in turn takes references from film classics such as “Psycho” to create its own identity.
Absolutely all the images present in “The Tell Tale Heart” are meticulously planned and very well executed, both technically and in staging. Each cut, transition or change of scenery is more elaborate and terrifying than the last one. And although we can say that it is a short film that shines for its technical aspect, it also does not abandon the importance of its characters and their interpretations.
Sonny Grimsley does a great job recreating with grace and a certain style the descent into madness of this character tormented by guilt and the nightmare that his life has been with this old man and his “vulture eye”, that generates so much terror in him.
As the only suggestion for future projects of its director (If it is worth to mentioning any), is to take care of some issues of makeup and lighting, but without a doubt, minor details before what is seen as a promising foray and absolute management in the cinematographic representation of the most hidden terrors of the mind.
Review can be found at: https://directorsblood.com/the-tell.html
By Keith Chawgo
October 3, 2020
The Literary License Podcast: Season 4: Episode 141 – EDGAR ALLEN POE: The McClain Lindquist Interview – Tell Tale Heart
BassMint Productions new short film, Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell Tale Heart is a beautifully shot and crafted short film that uses visual and hearing styles to bring its dark twisted story to the audience. Keeping closely linked with the classic gothic novel, McClain has taken a story that has been told numerous times before and put his stamp on it. This is probably one of the most truest forms of the story to come to screen.
The film starts out and captures its audience from the very beginning and builds to its ultimate conclusion. Sonny Gimsley as the narrator enthrals the audience as we are slowly thrown into his method of madness. Using close ups and sound design to emphasise this gives kudos to the production. Gimsley holds the audience in the palm of his hands as the audience are led by the hand to his despair and demise. A special mention has to be mentioned to James G Morris who plays the old man. This is a difficult part to get across and Morris is able to show a man who is hideous to look at but able to show the gentleness and caring side within the grotesque exterior. This could have been easily done as a pantomime villain but Morris gives this character heart. This does help the audience truly experience the horrendousness of the crime that is committed against him.
Lindquist knows how to keep the tension taunt and he slowly builds to the exciting and bloody conclusion without using tired and tried conventions giving the film a look and feel all its own. Production and sound design are excellent and are top grade without being in your face, they help paint the landscape of the narrative whilst set and photography places the audience into the visual beauty of the piece.
It should be mentioned that using a timeless framing helps bring this forward to a modern audience which is an interesting move considering that Poe normally fits squarely in the gothic storytelling and some films tend to get caught up in this. This often leads to stoic storytelling and sometimes a dated feeling that feels out of touch with a modern audience. Lindquist avoids this and gives modern audience something to rejoice in whilst showing off the flourishes of Poe without getting lost in the text. In fact, he celebrates Poe and highlights him to show that his stories are just as important today as when they were written.
Overall, this is a fantastic and enjoyable film that hits all the marks. The tension is taunt and builds at a good pace, excellent performances from the actors and the team behind the production. A film that delivers on all that it tries to achieve; and more, until its bloody conclusion. The film stays with you long after the end credits play and will haunt even the most hardened genre fans. This film is a triumph and it has made me excited to see what comes next from this very gifted director.