03rd Oct2015

Grimmfest 2015: ‘Snatchers’ Review (Short FIlm)

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Rupert Hill, Erin Shanagher | Written by Jonathan Georgiou | Directed by Drew Lovett

snatchers-jeff

The second short of Grimmfest’s Northern Showcase was Snatchers, another premiere for the event – this time of the UK variety – directed by Drew Lovett, an assistant editor at ITV who, under the Northern Giant Productions banner previously helmed the short Insomnia. For Snatchers he re-teams with the star of that short, Erin Shanagher.

Snatchers tells the story of Jeff and Danielle (played by Rupert Hill and Erin Shanagher respectively) who, after a night out, return home to discover an intruder in their apartment. You’d think the solution is simple… Call the police and wait it out. However Jeff has other ideas.

Now this is my kind of short, in fac the best kind, a film that takes audiences in one direction before flipping events and changing its entire landscape. In this case we start we a couple arguing in the kitchen as a news report about a missing person is played out over the radio. Now that would, you think, be a clue to what is about to happen – especially coupled with the strange new neighbour downstairs, blaring out music at the highest possible volume. But no, Snatchers takes a different path; and one I’m not afraid to say had me fooled…

I honestly expected that the intruder in the couples home would be the missing person spoke about on the radio, who would then be killed by Jeff whilst defending his wife – then the two would get the blame for the missing person crime when it was really the loud music playing neighbour downstairs. But no. For Snatchers, it turns out, is less of a home invasion thriller and more a killer-cult short; and the entire change in direction rests on two ominous words: “They’re Coming.” Never have two words had so much impact, or sounded or petrifying.

And the terror only builds from there. The physical appearance of the intruder in Jeff and Danielle’s home changes, Jeff’s behaviour gets rather strange, and then it turns out it might only be Jeff who can here the music coming from the downstairs flat. Nothing is ever really explained – the changes in Jeff’s behavious allude to the idea he may be part of something or done something, that something having “evil” connotations.

But being a short (Snatchers runs about 10 minutes in total) there’s no time to provide answers. Instead we get the big reveal – the reason the intruder is in their home – and then jump scare close, leaving the audience scratching their heads trying to figure out why? But then why do people commit any crime? Many times in life there are no explanations and Snatchers reflects that.

With high production values (Lovett and co. apparently used the facilities available to them at ITV), a sneaky subversive plot and an ending that leaves you thinking, Snatchers is another unmissable horror short from “the North”.

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