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A Strange Calm

A gripping thriller where innocence and horror intertwine.


‘A Strange Calm’, a thriller short film written and directed by the talented Austin Rourke, intertwines innocence and horror, delivering an unsettling yet captivating cinematic experience. The narrative kicks off with Giovanna Bush (Rosie) and Jacob Sandler (Miles) as two adolescents on a whimsical trek to view the 4th of July fireworks. Their innocent bickering and playful banter set a disarming tone, lulling the audience into a false sense of security.

However, the arrival of Frank (Price Carson), an older man, marks a sinister shift. The film deftly transitions from light-hearted adventure to chilling suspense as Frank lures the unsuspecting duo into his car. Rosie’s palpable anxiety juxtaposed with Miles’ naivety heightens the tension, making their journey to a remote barn a harrowing watch.

Rourke’s direction shines in these moments of escalating dread, punctuated by a few well-placed jump scares that jolt the audience with their unexpected intensity. The young cast delivers commendable performances, with Bush and Sandler capturing the essence of their characters’ contrasting perspectives with remarkable authenticity. Their portrayal adds layers to the narrative, making the impending danger feel profoundly real.

Joel E. Schaeffer’s cinematography is nothing short of cinematic brilliance. His framing and shot composition elevate the film, transforming simple scenes into visually compelling narratives. Each frame is meticulously crafted, with several shots worthy of high praise.

In ‘A Strange Calm,’ Rourke crafts a taut, well-made film that skilfully navigates from a serene opening to a gripping, tense midpoint. It’s a commendable piece of storytelling, underscored by strong performances and high-quality production. A must-watch for thriller aficionados.

A Strange Calm Short Thriller Film


Runtime: 13 min
Genre: ,

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