THE EIDOLON STATE
Well I stumbled across this short film on Dreadcentral.com called “The Eidolon State”. I knew next to nothing about the film other than it was inspired by the mythical “Slender Man” (pictured below). The film was co-written and directed by Dion Cavallaro and Paul Thomas and filmed in my hometown of Adelaide in South Australia (small world). Early on in the film, I spotted the roundabout entering the suburb of Gawler which I have been to many a time. It’s great that it’s just their second short film and it’s already getting some great exposure through a well-respected and popular site such as Dreadcentral.
The Eidolon State is about a teenager named Josh, (played by writer/director Paul Thomas himself), who has been experiencing recurring dreams about a faceless man stalking him. Along with his friend Ally (played by Sarah Pike), Josh decides to do some research and find out more about The Slender Man and what his ultimate goal is.
This 19 minute short film was shot utilising several locations and was estimated to cost around $1,000. The production value is great given the budget and lack of experience. There are only really three people primarily involved in the film too. Paul had a hand in everything from the solid camera work and explosive sound effects to the eerie score and perfect lighting. Clearly he is a jack of all trades and should be someone to keep an eye on in the coming years.
There are a few really masterful suspense moments that are only enhanced due to the subtly of the tension that is built. Combining carefully placed sound effects and lighting changes really helps immerse you in the experience. The tone of this entire short is very creepy. We are introduced to Josh straight away and get a first hand look at what he is going through. The line between his imagination and reality starts to become blurred pretty quickly and we get a look into these events that eventually culminate in a very cool and fitting final scene.The Slender Man is a wonderful myth to explore with this style of filmmaking, I mean who wouldn’t be creeped out by a faceless “man” in a suit, right???
I’m not sure if it was some of the acting or just the fact that I still can’t get my head around our really grating sounding accent (haha). I think it might be a combination of the two aspects that see’s some of the more intense and emotional scenes fall a little flat. The reactions feel a little bit forced as well but keep in mind that these actors/actresses are very inexperienced, so I think overall it’s very solid. I think this short ends before it really begins and just barely scratches the surface of what you could really do with The Slender Man. Given a decent size budget and some more time, I think there is a great scary full length film just waiting to be made, and I for one hope to be a part of it in some way shape or form!
I saw another Australian horror film earlier this year called “The Babadook”, which was a very unnerving and chilling story told in a very cool way. The Eidolon State is every bit as good and deserves plenty of recognition worldwide. Please head over to Dreadcentral or YouTube to watch the film, continue supporting low-budget films like these. From a fellow Adelaideian, I say congrats to Dion and Paul and everyone else involved, great work!!
My rating for “The Eidolon State” is 8/10