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The Shortround: Hike (Review)

From the jaded viewer inbox comes a another edition of The Shortround. The latest entry is Hike, from writer and director Jennifer Campbell. It's a shorty short, at about 7 minutes and is simple in its simplicity. Here be a synopsis.

Hike is a horror short about what can happen when you go into the woods. A man and woman embark on a day trip, hiking to a remote area in the woods. No one is around, and they are alone. After awhile they stop to rest and relax. Things seem okay but something is not quite right. A gruesome discovery is made and grisly circumstances unfold as a result.

the jaded viewer says: With all the horror shorts I get, in order to break through the clutter you really need to go all 360 on me. Either you tell a story I've never seen before, end with a super duper clever twist (ala Daywalt Fear Factory) or set up something that will end with a WTF. Hike is a film that represents the latter of the 3.

Simply, it's a man and woman going hiking in the woods. But of course when you watch a horror short, you know a twist is coming. The visuals are nicely done and the music adds some tension. But most of the first 5 or so minutes are a few hiking and camping cliches that build up to a pseudo twist. I'd had hoped we'd get something new added to the mix but we get your standard scene set up. At one point we get a peeing in the woods scene when they've hiked for like 1 minute. Honestly, I'd have appreciated some other set up before our poor victim makes a shocking discovery.

After a frenetic chase scene, it's pretty much the end that had me going WTF. And it's indeed crazy sick and twisted. Solid splattery slice and pull.

Campbell's Hike is like a first take of a movie scene. I don't want to classify it as a work in progress but it feels like it. It's got a solid premise and a POW! ending but it feels like a first draft. Campbell has solid techniques but sometimes even the best filmmakers need a few tries to get things right.

She has a feature called Final Weekend in development and Hike seems to fit into a testing ground for it. I'm looking forward seeing what's to come for Jennifer Campbell, she's got the talent to make something shocking and new and that's what I look for in every movie I review.

Check out the trailer below. Here's a link the IMDB page as well as to the official site.


Hike Official Trailer from Jennifer Campbell on Vimeo.





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