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Review: Josh Mabe’s “Silent Breath”

Silent Breath is the new, 20 minute short film going to film festivals from HMF Production. Filmed in association with Emerald Moon Entertainment, Jay Big Productions and Maine Genius Productions, Silent Breath sees a young man on the edge who acts out on his growing frustration with his parents. Hurt runs deep! Only then does a maniacal yet sophisticated man arrive on the scene to push the boy further into darkness. But who is he? And why has he arrived now? A supernatural drama that also contains elements of horror, the short film is written by Dan Emerson and directed by Josh Mabe. Christopher Jones, Landon Parrish, Sammie Cassell and Misty Dixon star in an indie picture from producers Josh Mabe and Tony Olson.

Silent Breath starts with an effectively shocking double-murder. It was the perfect trick to grab an audience because it certainly made my head turn and say “what’s this?” Everything looks perfect on the outside, a beautiful house and an average American family, but the prodigal son is struggling internally and his parents’ solution is to medicate. Finally, the young man snaps, and then Doyle shows up to reap the benefits of the bloodshed. This is scary in itself because of real-world actuality. The relationship between Doyle and his charge, the high school aged boy, is complicated. Doyle is clearly using the young-man, but I also get the sense of a father/son, kind of mentor-ish vibe from them. And their relationship begs the question – did he do something to summon Doyle, or is the suit-clad man a figment of his imagination.

Silent Breath sees cinematography from Austin Bitikofer and editing from Jason Bigart. As I mentioned above, this short film is an independent production, and in this case it’s a little rough around the edges. It’s bloody, which is great for horror fans, but some of the other areas of production need work. I loved what the camera man did with interesting, inventive angles and all the pans were pulled off well. However, the picture quality was often-times slightly out of focus and way too bright. The audio needed work too, as echos were too prominent in certain scenes. Finally, Christopher Jones absolutely stole the show and was a picture perfect Devil. Landon Parrish was also a great choice for his role based on looks, but he needed to take his time when delivering lines. He says them too fast and sometimes that covers-up his talent.

Still, Silent Breath succeeds because of its twisted and complicated story. It’s poignant for the generation we live in now and it leads the way for other installments if Josh Mabe chooses to continue this plot with another short. Sick, brutal and sophisticated. Final Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)