The latest short from independent genre director Scott Lyus, spins a chilling tale of the paranormal and the power of suggestion in, Echoes of the Passed.
Set solely in a marvellously creepy house; the short witnesses a small team of investigators delve into the dark history of the building which leaves them questioning whether there is more to it than creaky doors and a few flickering lights.
The kind of plot that writer and “Frank” actor Tony Sands utilizes is highly familiar however it does much more than spoon-feed the audience with exposition or lay dependence on elaborate jump scare effects. The story itself slowly reveals pieces of vital information allowing for a welcome ambiguity that assists the build-up of tension.
The key factors of Echoes of the Passed is Lyus’s ability to create atmosphere which was equally as prevalent in his previous short film, Silently Within Your Shadow (2015). He sustains this through skin-crawling sound effects, giving off the sense that there is an ominous presence lurking out of sight. The camera work by Sharad Patel is exceptionally professional with much of the framing essential to ramping up the idea of fear and the unknown.
Close ups of the actors as they discuss the tragic backstory of the house captures this powerful sense of unease while the higher angle shot at the beginning when Liz (Sophie Tergeist) and the Professor (Paul Dewdney) converse provides the notion of something watching over them. Horror should always be a visceral experience which Echoes of the Passed accomplishes as early as the opening moments.
Performance-wise there is not a weak link amongst the four main players. Sophie Tergeist is a strong actress as she effortlessly convinces the audience of her sheer agitation and evasiveness with her character Liz. Each character is written to be distinguishable from each other with their individual personalities and reactions shining through on screen. Sands’s Frank is the most shaken up while Mac McFadden’s Fred displays a dubious manner. Paul Dewdney as Professor Ian Naughton is the most layered character and he transitions the characterisation flawlessly in accordance with the plot.
Lyus’s manages to impress once again with his filmmaking skills. His work is of a professional standard with his films offering up an innovative slant on the genre. Echoes of the Passed, is spooky, dramatic and achieves a compelling piece of storytelling in a short twenty minute run time.
Echoes of the Passed has been nominated for awards at the Shriekfest Film Festival in LA for ‘Best Short Film’, The Fake Flesh Film Festival in Canada and The Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival London with the category of ‘Best Actor’ for Tony Sands. Echoes of the Passed wholly deserves the recognition it has achieved and it has been a strong start to 2018 on the short film front.