“Written in Red” is a short horror film written and produced by senior Noah am Ende and Sophomore Ryder Singer-Johnson, starring senior Brooke Erinakes, Junior Brie am Ende, senior Elyce Nadeau, senior Ella Paige, sophomore Ryder Singer-Johnson, senior Julianne Lucas, and senior Noah am ende. The movie is incredibly ominous and it is obvious everyone involved put thought and effort into each scene, transition, and line. Many high budget horror movies rely solely on jumpscare after jumpscare, which might be startling, but isn’t a tactic that creates a lasting suspenseful theme throughout a film. “Written in Red,” on the other hand, relies more on its mysterious storyline and suspenseful plot to scare the viewer, and it works.
The movie starts strangely, with four girls filling a bathtub, then taking one small bowl of water out, lighting some candles and chanting an odd phrase in an alleyway. This all leads to the summoning of Clementine, a spirit who was murdered in a bathtub many years before over a beauty pageant. Some characters are frightened or worried, some are intrigued and some others think it’s flat out fake. After an accident, the water is spilled and Clementine has come back for vengeance. Characters start dropping like flies in gruesome fashion, to the point where even those not participating in the circle get murdered, leaving you questioning how far Clementine is willing to go. and who’s next?
It’s amazing seeing how the story snowballs and how much the writers were able to fit into 18 minutes without the movie feeling rushed. There was enough time to show character development, like the changing of opinions on summoning clementine. The viewers become connected to the characters as each is unique yet relatable, in a short film. Were moments where you could see the characters and get to know them a bit by seeing their different personalities. The actors play off each other which leads to exquisite connections and makes the plot feel even more real.
When watching the short film, two effects that stick out the most are the use of sound and, camera work. Ominous music is played throughout but intensifies when needed to add to the creepiness of the scene, and made spine-tingling scenes, like in the final murder scene the music made it even scarier. The camera work was fantastic; the eerie close-ups on of objects that wouldn’t seem creepy like a book or candle in a normal film but were given emphasis on-camera work made it so suspenseful and dark. These shots also added to the plot by putting an emphasis on certain objects that would become critical later in the film.
“Our film was inspired by bits and pieces of horror films, and scary games, but we did come up with the game ourselves. We both wanted to do a horror film but we came to the conclusion that we didn’t want to copy any horror stories, we wanted to make a completely new horror game to give our film originality,” said Singer-Johnson.
While there are many horror movies with a similar basic plot, the unique stories, and new games made the story fresh while also using a timeless idea that many know and love.
“The process of creating the film was so much fun. Throughout filming, we were open to helpful ideas from the actresses. It was very collaborative and I feel like we were able to make something great because everyone truly wanted an amazing outcome. Writing and editing were very tedious. You can’t make a good film quickly and I think we both understood that, especially since we wanted everything to tie together. I’m very proud of what we were able to create together. I think it was a wonderful learning experience and maybe we can work to make an even better film for next time,” said am Ende.