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Review: Charles Chudabala’s “Nightshade”

If you take all of Alice in Wonderland, fit it in one room with only a handful of actors, and swallow more LSD to give you creepy, bloody hallucinations, then you end up with Nightshade. A four minute short film and the directorial debut of Charles Chudabala, Nightshade finds a little girl, who’s afraid of the dark, as she confronts her fears late night one. Is what she’s experiencing a dream, a nightmare, or something much worse? Written, directed and produced by Charles Chudabala, Nightshade stars Jennifer Nangle, Leah Schaefer, Marle Schaefer and Lexi Marlene. Find it online when it debuts on Facebook and YouTube next Tuesday, January 29th 2019.

As far as directorial debuts go, Charles had it right with tackling a mini-movie before moving on to feature length projects. More-so, Nightshade demonstrates that he has huge balls, for having the bravery and gumption to create something outside the barriers of normalcy. I would categorize Nightshade as an experimental flick, with the angles, lighting and themes painting a picture that makes it stand out from the crowd. Audiences usually don’t embrace experimental pieces as much as they should, especially when its inside the horror genre, but I would recommend giving Nightshade a chance. It’s a first time endeavor that shows Mr. Chudabala has a lot of colorful, macabre stories floating around in his noggin.

Nightshade is also produced by Alex Hwang, Kathleen Hwang and Thomas Haley, and features cinematography from Paul Stephens Edwards and editing from Hunter Johnson. I will say that Nightshade falls into the realm of low budget movie-making, but it’s still pretty good. There are no big, glaring errors or poor acting. It’s simple really, as I stated above, one room and a few actors…and a dead man in a bunny suit. Yeah, you’re going to want to watch this one when it debuts online January 29th. With a young actress as the lead, Nightshade is inherently scary and downright bizarre, and I actually quite enjoyed it.

Final Score: 7 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)