Sourdough (Review) Bakers beware!


Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Writer/Co-Director, Jonah Lindley for allowing me early access to an online screener of his 7-minute Horror short, “Sourdough”. Sourdough is a slice of bakehouse mayhem where in which two patisseries find themselves at war over who has the best goods. After sneaking into the enemy’s camp (so to speak), one group of women obtain a special recipe but little do they know that getting a leg up on the competition can turn out to be more trouble than it’s worth. The film stars Deborah Danes, Josie Montano, Rachel Hunt, and Wendy Spencer.

Whilst submitting my latest short film into a number of festivals, I happened upon Sourdough – which was itself doing quite well on the festival circuit. I was immediately drawn into the film’s opening, which uses visual cues conceived with great artistry by Sina Hakimpour in order to set up its take on a skewed “fairytale”. In addition, there are some wonderful little miniatures shown throughout, like something out of the obscure show “The Mighty Boosh”. Once the film transitions to its live-action portion, it looks superb – most notably the lighting and grading. Jordan Belyea’s cinematography is sharp, the editing and transitions are seamless, and the pleasant piano orientated theme sets the scene nicely. It’s interesting to see the four actors doubling up roles here, and in this particular case, I think it works well. Once the film establishes its central conflict, we’re treated to some ambitious stop-motion animation that certainly put a smile on my face. The makeup and special fx are serviceable my only criticism was that I wanted to see one particularly gruesome act at least partially shown, but I understand budget limitations often play a part. One of my only issues was that there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of logic behind why the “red” women wanted the recipe to the “Devil’s Food Cake”. They could clearly see that the “blue” side wasn’t pulling in any customers, so why the sudden need to procure that? I’m not sure. A simple fix would’ve been to show some of the loyal patrons diverting into the Blue bakery for that item – just a thought.

It should come as no surprise that Sourdough is already impressing, having won a “Best Horror” short award at the July “Indie Short Fest”. Lindley and Co/Director, Nils Terton clearly have good knowledge of the genre and what’s required to make a polished product. From a technical standpoint, every facet of Sourdough is well-conceived – that and it’s got a bit of everything. I thoroughly enjoyed the three or four different creative mediums used to present this film. It’s not a technique that works for just any content, but it does here. A couple of minor complaints aside, Sourdough is about as good of a horror short film as you’re likely to see this year. By all accounts, Jonah’s inspiration for the film came from TV’s “Round The Twist” and “Grizzly Tales For Gruesome Kids”. I think he’s a talented young Aussie filmmaker with a bright future. You may have to wait a while for this one but be sure to keep an eye out for it when it eventually drops!

Sourdough – 8.5/10