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Review: Louie Cortes’ Samhainophobia

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Thankfully there are a few horror films floating around on social media from this past Halloween. While film-makers continue to promote the fruits of their efforts, they’re inadvertently giving genre fans something to hold on to if you’re one of the many people in denial that we’ve crossed through the barrier and entered Christmas season already. Samhainophobia is just one of those short films and, with its super festive title, it’s sure to give All Hallows’ Eve one last breathe of life before we bury it for good. Samhainophobia is shot, edited and directed by Louie Cortes, who previously created the “Holidays of Terror” web-series and co-directed “Attack of the Brain People.”

This five minute short follows a man (Christopher Poultney) as he struggles to face his fear of Halloween. A copy of Dracula in one hand and a bag of candy corn in the other, he’s all set to begin his harrowing journey until there’s a knock at the door. Against his better judgement, he opens the door to find two pranksters who prove that this holiday is not for the faint of heart. Zach Seekins and Curtis Wilkerson also star in Samhainophobia. It’s short, sweet and… well, no. There lies my only complaint. Nothing really happens here. The man comes home, someone vandalizes his window, and he gets tricked by two young men. That’s kind of the gist of it. I was hoping for more because Louie Cortes and New Needle Productions know a thing or two about horror, but the plot left me wanting a lot more.

Luckily, Samhainophobia makes up for the lack of plot with its production value. First and foremost, I loved the retro soundtrack. It brought back fond memories of older horror films especially when paired with the use of black and white film. I wasn’t a fan of shooting in black and white for the sake of shooting in black and white until I realized the lack of color was meant to visualize the main character’s isolation, claustrophobia and anxiety considering his biggest fear had started and was pushing on the boundaries of mental state. When he’s shocked back into reality, the color returns to the screen and we get some great cinematography and picture quality. By using silent film and black and white scenes against dialogue and color corrected scenes, the viewer gets a lot of conflicting elements that makes Samhainophobia an interesting, artistic horror-drama.

Final Score: 6 out of 10.

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Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)