The Tell-Tale Heart is a popular horror story, written by Edgar Allan Poe, that has been the inspiration to many a horror writer/film maker.
In fact, Christine Parker’s version of Tell-Tale Heart is a cross with the celluloid classic What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, which is an interesting take and works nicely.
The film follows Margaret, the foster sister of a once successful actress. After having lived in in the shadow of her star struck sibling for many years, on one fateful day, Margaret impulsively decided to inflict a terrible injury on Caroline, replacing her eye drops with sulphuric acid.
As a result, Caroline’s acting career comes to an end, any as she remains beyond suspicion for this horrifying act, Margaret is trusted as her sister’s carer. For years they live together in a grand mansion with ever present resentment bubbling beneath the surface of their seemingly amicable co-existence.
Until one day, Margaret can’t take any more and commits a despicable act. The question is, can she live with the consequences?
The Tell-Tale Heart is another great example of independent horror movie production. It’s clear that it took a great deal of organisation and planning to put this project together and the composite elements are strong from casting to the sets and locations.
The story itself is well thought out and keeps a good momentum throughout – something that’s never easy when you’re trying to keep your film within the boundaries of a short.
The black and white film effect is also a nice touch and suits the subject matter completely. It also reflects the writer/director/producer’s clear love of the ‘classics’.
Anyone familiar with Poe’s story may not be surprised at the final pay off, but the modern take on the execution of the crime is nice.
For the most part the cast are capable at conveying the characters that they play. In particular Catherine Mattson puts in a great performance as the lead, Margaret. She plays both facets if her resentful, bi-polar character with conviction.
The only real weakness is the sound, which for some reason falls quite short. It’s a shame as the visual aspects are pretty strong and not being able to clearly hear key dialogue is
Generally though, Tell-Tale Heart was an enjoyable short film which shows a lot of promise for its production team and their next project.