I know this is an out of left field way of starting this review, but Alex Noyer is going to be called a “visionary” one day. “One to watch.” “Up and coming.” Everything. I was so impressed with his new short film, The Conductor, and I feel a sense of pride in a person I’ve never met. The Conductor is a seven minute horror short that just screened at Shriekfest this weekend and is heading to Morbido Fest later this month. It’s original, smart, creative, artistic and gory as Hell all rolled into one; a never before seen thematic experience that blends the primal thrall of music with the atmosphere of Saw. Based on the screenplay by Alex Noyer, The Conductor follows an aspiring musician, Josh, as he enters a mall competition to win the drum set of his dreams. He struggles at first, nearly blowing his chance, until a fellow sound engineer, Alexis, helps him create a mini-masterpiece of music that blows the small audience away. It’s only after he wins the competition that the mall learns that the beat was literally to die for. Kelli Jordan, Michael Maclane, Joshua Canada and Nora Nagatani star in The Conductor, an i-Phone and Beats by Dre commercial that turns into a nightmare. And I fucking loved it!
First of all, for an independent production, The Conductor has a movie theater picture quality; in that it looks so good, it could screen in movie theaters across the country if it was a feature length movie. The acting, of course, is beyond average and award winning in itself, but it’s every other aspect of behind-the-scenes work that makes The Conductor such a contender at every festival it’s about to show in. In the beginning, it’s got some 80’s themed scores that will grab the audience by the balls before transitioning to a more modern sound. The script is unsuspecting and catches you off guard. You know something bad is going to happen, I mean, this is a horror short, but when the trap drops, the gore is out of this world bloody and flawless; also one of the most polished aspects of the movie. The turn table/beat maker, the audience, the quarter piece of the mall floor…I’m blown away that director/producer Alex Noyer and producer Hannu Aukia were able to accomplish this level of professionalism and wonder without breaking the bank. Everything is crazy good. Holy crap. The music, the gore, the art of dance…It all blends together and catapults The Conductor to become one of my favorite short films of 2018 so far.
Yet The Conductor is also so ying-yang that it’s crazy that it was so successful with its cohesiveness. The magic of self expression and vibe counters the thought of torture and death. The eternal need to dance matches our inner desire to watch something disturbing. The Conductor is friendly and nurturing, yet evil at its core. It’s a beautiful, thought provoking script, and I take away something new every time I think about this review. It features cinematography from Kyle Smolic and editing from Mohamed El Manasterly & Hannu Aukia. The perfect run time, the person script, the perfect acting…Honestly, that’s the only word I can use to describe The Conductor. “Perfect.” Don’t walk, RUN to film festivals if you see The Conductor screening near you. The promotional media behind this one is a little “eh,” but don’t be fooled! A beast, a sleeper hit, an invigorating piece of cinema is waiting for you. Damnit. I loved this. Let me stop raving now. Final Score: 10/10.