BEC (BLACK EYED CHILD)
Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Marila Films and Spanish Writer/Director, Tony Morales (Hada) *see review* https://adamthemoviegod.com/hada-review-2/ for allowing me early access to an online screener of his latest short film, an 11 minute Horror/Thriller called “Bec”. Bec picks up late one night with a sick elderly woman (played by Puri Palacios) who rises from her bed after hearing noises downstairs. With oxygen mask still attached, she makes her way downstairs to investigate. Is it just the sounds of the raging thunderstorm outside or has death finally come for her? The film also stars Gonzalo Fiorito and Diana Fernandez. It wasn’t all that long ago that I reviewed Morales previous short Hada, another story set in the paranormal sub-genre that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s clear with his follow-up effort that these types of shorts are Tony’s forte.
Maro Espinosa’s cinematography is one of the standout features of Bec. The framing is tight and the camera movements are really clean. There’s a couple of effective overhead shots during a scene in which Puri’s character is standing on one flight of stairs while someone or something else is standing on the other. The bass heavy score really helps set the tone of this mysterious haunting, working in tandem with the lighting effects of the storm to create a great mood. There’s some sharp violin spikes and clattering sound effects to enhance the jump scare moments too. Music composer, Jesus Calderon combined with Morales to use a record player in the house as the device with which to present a repetitive cycle of the song “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf”, and it’s a most unsettling backing.
A couple of the scares were too conveniently telegraphed for my liking and subsequently the payoff wasn’t as strong. While the woman sees a number of different shapes and images when navigating the house, you’re never quite sure what’s real and what isn’t. I’d like to have found out something about her, anything. That, and who was the boy anyway? Was she a bad person being haunting by her past, or was it simply that death had finally come to get her because she was ill?
Bec is another step in the right direction for the young Spanish filmmaker in Morales, and a further improvement on his previous work. The premise isn’t anything we haven’t seen before and it doesn’t necessarily breathe anything new into the genre, but it’s professionally conceived and entertaining from start to finish. Palacio’s performance is good, the cinematography impressive and the sound design and score atmospheric. There’s a couple of nice suspenseful moments and sometimes it can be more about what you don’t see. I think a couple of gags were a bit predictable and the lack of exposition might bother some viewers looking for clarity, although maybe that was the intention and Morales has an expansion of the story in mind, who knows. Keep an eye out for this one because it’s coming soon!
My rating for “Bec” is 8.5/10