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Review: Thomas Moore’s Nightmare Child

Nightmare Child is a 2 minute 30 second short film from the mind of writer/director Thomas Moore. It recently screened as an official selection at the Knoxville Horror Film Festival, and other showings are planned in the near future. With that in mind, Moore asked that I review his new project, which he described as an experiment piece that he shot in just five hours one Saturday night. I can see how one would describe Nightmare Child as an “experiment,” considering that Moore made a lot of interesting choices with angles and lighting. It showed a certain level of confidence and professionalism to attempt shots that looked a little different, but this risk, and its success, puts Thomas Moore in a higher caliber bracket of indie film-makers. With red hues, absence of light, and other stylistic decisions, Nightmare Child excelled where other short films would have failed.

I guess my childhood was boring because I never stayed up late making blanket forts. I guess you can say I was lucky, then, because I wasn’t lured out of my room by a ghostly voice while also being followed by a strange shadow figure. Nightmare Child has a lot of homages and/or inspirations from other horror films like Halloween, Lights Out and Poltergeist, while managing to maintain its quality as an original mini-movie. It relies on noise, a jump scare, cinematic realizations and a feeling of uneasiness to keep the viewer interested, and that was also a smart, ballsy move when considering the lead actor, Jensen Moore, is elementary school aged and should be sheltered from more R rated scenes. Rayn Lain also stars in Nightmare Child and Jay Smith served as cinematographer. Great job, cast and crew.

I didn’t think I’d have much to say about Nightmare Child because of its run time, but I found it to be quite impressive when looking at it from all angles (no pun intended). I’m glad that it’s receiving such a warm welcome in the film festival circuit, and I can’t wait for it to debut online one day, so you can see it, too. A short, creepy stroll through the house while being stalked by an unseen predator, Nightmare Child was fun, spooky and perfect for a quick Halloween treat. Final Score: 8 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)