Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Izzy Lee, Director of the 10 minute short film “A Favor”, for allowing me early access to an online screener. After doing a bit of research, I found out that Izzy had a few credits to her name already. I found a short write-up for the film at DreadCentral.com and thought it sounded great. A Favor is about a guy named Jackson (played by Shaun Callaghan), who I must say resembles a heavier bearded, Ewan McGregor look a like (haha). Jack’s just microwaved his leftovers, and is preparing watch some TV on his day off. He’s quickly interrupted by an emergency phone call from Liz, who asks for his help with something. A Favor, begs the question, How far would you go to help a friend out? The film also stars Diana Porter and Jose Guns Alves. Over the last couple of years I’ve become a huge fan of the short film. A lot of people think of it as a waste, after all if someone has a good idea why not make it into a full length feature? It’s usually one of two things that stop that from happening. A: They didn’t have the funding or time, or B: they’re using the opportunity as a chance to test the waters before jumping in the deep end. Sometimes giving substance to a specific idea only requires telling a short story, as is the case here.
The concept for A Favor is an interesting one, and there’s several different ways to approach a screenplay like this. This one just so happens to play out as a darker comedy, more so than a general Horror film. The house it takes place in made for a great setting, it’s an environment where you’d least expect malevolent behavior to be occurring. The audio is nice and clear, while the camera work is fluent with shot choices wisely sequenced. The editing is where Lee showcases her understanding of the technical aspects. Knowing how long to linger on a shot, or which way to cut said shot and how to reveal a revelation. Those finer points usually comes with more experience, but it seems she’s learnt very fast.
The low fi, synth soundtrack that plays in the background is a little generic, one might say. There’s nothing wrong with it, its more because of what we’ve come to know and love sound wise in the genre. Even though there are moments of dry comedy, the decision to avoid clunky and gimmicky, game show sound effects was a good one. There’s not a great deal of room for action sequences in just ten minutes, but the climax of the film does have some worthy blood and gore, which was also done practically.
I’m not sure I really need a heading, labelled “The Bad” when it comes to A Favor. My only selective hang up was that Izzy and Julie LeShane (the makeup effects artist), didn’t go all out with the blood and gore. I suppose that might take away from the films comedic tone that’s clearly on display. It’s just a personal preference of mine, being a lover of effects heavy films, I would have liked to see more than I did.
A Favor is the best short film I’ve seen since Bad Guy #2 *see review* https://adamthemoviegod.com/2015/06/14/bad-guy-2-review/. The comedic timing was on point, the aesthetics were very impressive and the finale depicted a humorous cycle of events. As I mentioned before, I would have enjoyed a bigger bloodbath but this one still manages to firmly stamp its mark in the short film category. Great stuff!!
My rating for “A Favor” is 9/10