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Review: Ryan Graff’s “Black Moon” (A Diabolical, Must See)

I watch so many horror movies a year, feature lengths and shorts, that it’s difficult to get me invigorated and excited at this point. I have to say with great sincerity that Ryan Graff’s Black Moon is one of the few titles this year that really made me say wow. It’s simple yet effective, brings the horror in an original way, and is paced to perfection with a freakishly sinister climax. Based on the story written by Graff and adapted to a screenplay by Daniel Shafer, Black Moon channels the real life occurrence of a double new moon in the same month and spins it into a supernatural hair-raiser. When a second new moon happens in the same month, it’s dubbed a Black Moon, and many believe this has some sort of supernatural upbringing and paves the way for otherworldly encounters. In this short film, a woman is walking home at night during a Black Moon when she overhears someone crying in a dark tunnel nearby. Despite her reservations, the woman enters the tunnel to comfort the stranger, only to find herself face to face with a nightmare that has no end. Directed by Ryan Graff, Black Moon stars Fabienne Tournet, Jamie M. Timmons and Brett Belboundo. Here’s why you should see it at a film festival near you if you get the chance.

This is just the definition of expert film-making. So much was done with so little resources and such a short amount of time that I am in awe of everyone involved with this production. A story based in reality, a tunnel, three actors, and a dedicated crew pulled off the impossible and delivered one of my favorite short films of 2019 so far. I’m so shocked and impressed, and want to champion Black Moon to every single horror fan I talk to. Let’s me start with the plot, and how it weaved a story together with such fluidity and consistency and realism that I was floored. Beautiful, talented, professional Fabienne Tournet is walking home at night and hears the cries from the tunnel after finishing a phone call. Fabienne is enchanting and the right woman for the job and she instantly pulled me into her narrative. But there was more to it than just her awesome acting. Having a woman stumble upon a supposed fellow woman, one in jeopardy no less, is an accurate depiction of sisterhood in a time when it’s needed most. I feel like no one else would stop to help a stranger other than woman, since they are inherently more selfless and nurturing than men. This, of course, had me shouting “no, don’t go!” because I didn’t want anything bad to happen to her, either.

Even when Fabienne enters the tunnel, the story never misses a beat and the production stepped up their game to create a dark, hazy environment for the spooky antagonist to thrive. This is how you take a singular location and use it to your advantage. This is a masterclass in film-making, and if it doesn’t win a ton of awards in the film festival circuit, I will flip a table and cause pandemonium. Anyway. During our central character’s time in the tunnel, a real moment of claustrophobia is created to the point where I felt like I was going to choke or gasp for breath. All five of my senses felt attacked. It was a moment that was truly interactive and a statement that you can affect an audience member if you do your job well. The cast and crew of Black Moon did their job more than well, they did it phenomenally. Black Moon was produced by Julian Malagon and Daniel Shafer with executive producer Gary Backe. It features cinematography by Tim McCombe and editing by Michael Shaw. Although Black Moon gets to its point quickly, it’s a delicate dance between horror and suspense from start to finish. It’s a diabolical, must see flick that had me shook.

Lightning in a bottle and a stunning nightmare brought to life with absolute perfection, I loved Black Moon. And the best part? One’s going to happen on August 30th in Canada and the Eastern part of the world. Beware… Final Score: 10/10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)