– By MovieCritic NextDoor
There’s nothing like waking from one of those nightmares that you can’t entirely shake off. No matter how often you tell yourself it was just a dream and it’s over now, you’re still at least half-convinced that you’re not really awake and, in true horror movie fashion, you’re about to discover — probably in some gruesome, horrifying way — that you’re actually still in the dream.
The unnamed boy (Frankie Churchill) in Spectrum has one of those dreams, and when he awakens he hears his dog, Rocky, barking up a storm, and goes downstairs to let the dog out. If the dog we’d had when I was a kid had ever barked like that I would have assumed that the house was under attack rather than that he just wanted to go outside, but maybe Rocky is inclined to be overdramatic.
In any case, the boy seems strangely convinced that nothing is wrong even when he hears Rocky whimpering, though to be fair he does eventually go looking for the dog. Though the kid is sensible enough to bring a flashlight and put on a coat, he neglects his shoes and goes outside in stocking feet. Ah, well, still not bad for a twelve-year-old.
But no matter how prepared or otherwise he thinks he is, he’s still in for a terrible shock when he steps outside and it seems as though he really isn’t out of that dream after all. Before he knows what’s happening, his entire world will be changed.
This short has all the earmarks of being a teaser for a longer movie or perhaps a series of shorts, and I have to say I’d love to see what happens to our hero next. It’s an eerie and intriguing premise with some great background details that really catch the eye. The horror is quiet and understated, which only makes it more horrifying, and the unnamed protagonist gives a convincing performance. I hope to see more soon from directors Cody Ong and Joshua Tendero, and hopefully more great X-Files references as well.
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