New York based company Mass Grave Pictures is back with another addition to its Dark Tales from Channel X series. I’ve had the pleasure of watching every MGP project since the Wild Eye Releasing distributed slasher flick Blood Slaughter Massacre, and I’ve always noted that MGP’s overall film quality rises with every new title. The new short, I Waited For You, is no different and I was immediately struck with pride because Manny Serrano, Lindsay Serrano, and the entire team continue to raise the bar when it comes to independent short film production. Besides a questionable tracking shot, I Waited For You is a flawless, mini piece of cinema with every story-telling area covered and horror elements nipping at its edges. Here’s why you should look for this short at a film festival near you very soon.
The story is simple. A young woman (Sarah Schoofs) is bothered in the middle of the night by a knock at the door. Fortunately, it’s only her good friend (Angie Hansen) inviting her out for a night on the town. Relenting, the young woman instantly regrets her decision when she realizes she left her cell phone in the cab they exited. Her night of terror is just beginning as a strange man begins texting her ominous messages…and his whereabouts are closer than expected. Written, directed and edited by Manny Serrano, I Waited For You stars Sarah Schoofs and Angie Hansen, with the predator being voiced by Peter Joseph Lewis and personified by Jason Peterson. Of course, podcast listeners will instantly recognize Lewis for his work on the NoSleep Podcast, which boasts over 90,000,000 downloads. Another NoSleep Podcast member, Brandon Boone, joined I Waited For You as composer, with Mass Grave Pictures’ Lindsay Serrano serving as assistant director and producer and Phillip Kral serving as cinematographer.
What’s really cool about I Waited For You is that it’s a modern short film that will bring viewers back to old school cinema, especially when it comes to a strange man terrorizing a young woman over the phone. Think of a more modern version of When A Stranger Calls, or more-so Black Christmas. Kudos to Manny Serrano for not going overboard with the material and keeping I Waited For You as a slow-burner that gradually amplifies from drama to horror at the climax. He also penned a script that capitalizes on our subconscious fear of having our identities stolen. That’s another cool thing. This short film can exist as two separate entities – a drama and a horror title. This narrative has the potential to entice audiences at various festivals due to its story content that dips into two genres. It’s intriguing, suspenseful, and right up my alley!
With an effective story, an excellent DP, and years of experience, Mass Grave Pictures has delivered another strong addition to their catalog of short films. I Waited For You is striking, tense and unnerving. It’s fun, to the point, and the perfect title for horror lovers that are looking for a good story and good acting instead of traditional gore and nudity. You’ll never lose your phone again after watching I Waited For You. Final Score: 7 out of 10.