I want to start by saying thank you to Canadian filmmaker Torin Langen, for allowing me to watch an online screener of his 12 minute, horror short “Fondue”. The film stars the lovely Raven Cousens along with, Youp Zondag, Emma McDonald, Rebecca McAulay and Mickey Conde. Fondue is about a mysterious twosome celebrating Halloween, with an unusual excursion to purchase masks for something far more sinister than one might think. Torin contacted me a while back, about reviewing two of his short films. I was having some fast speed internet trouble, but have since had the chance to watch both of them. Stay tuned for the second review, coming soon!
Fondue has an estimated budget of just $800, but you’d never know it. Given Torin’s minimal amount of experience, he has an extremely keen eye for the technical aspects of film making. This is wonderfully shot, with the focus on simple but elegant and effective shot choices. When they are all edited together they look fantastic. He uses a lot of clever little tricks throughout the short running time. Such as, intensifying the score in order to build suspense, while simultaneously muting the screams or dialogue of the cast. The editing is really snappy and the color grading really suits the tone of the story. I took particular notice of the lighting during the scenes inside the house. It’s really hard to find the balance in how much light to use, it all depends on the mood. I can clearly see that Torin knows his stuff when it comes to lighting. The performances were solid and Raven looks lovely. Unfortunately, once the Halloween mask goes on, it doesn’t come off (sad face). Speaking of the masks, they were quite generic but still pretty cool. The soundtrack was based around more of a blues style of music, which ended up working better than I thought it would. The wonderful intro theme gets you hooked and by the end, it’s a similar piece of music but played in a much more obscure and frenetic way.
I’m really struggling to find anything I can pick apart in this short 12 minute film. Having both key characters wearing masks, combined with the fact there is no dialogue from anyone, makes it’s hard to gauge a state of mind. That’s probably part of the mystery though, so it’s not really a fault it just depends on the viewer. A few lines of dialogue might have helped convey a darker secret, or something along those lines. I wasn’t sure whether a couple of things were in the imagination of a certain character or not. I can’t say much more without spoiling it, that was just another aspect that was part of the mystery I suppose.
Fondue is just simply fantastic film making, no matter how you look at it. From a technical point of view its flawless, and the short screenplay is eerie and incredibly effective. With a wonderful production value and Torin’s professionalism, I can safely say he’s used his small amount of money wisely, superb work!!
My rating for “Fondue” is 9/10