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Review: Charles Chudabala’s THE GATEWAY

Charlie Charlie Productions returns with a nine minute short film titled The Gateway. An experimental project that mixes horror, science fiction, drama and psychological elements, The Gateway follows two friends (Charles Chudabala & Jennifer Nangle) on a night they will never forget…if they even survive it. It starts with a little bit of magic and quickly descends into a trippy, vibrant world of hallucinations, nightmares or real evil. The script, which is also penned by Charles Chudabala, kept surprising me by deviating from the stereotypical path I thought it was going to take. So, props to the film’s director for adding a dose of originality to his latest project.

While I enjoyed the twists and turns, the style and artistry, and all the other pieces that make up The Gateway, I do have to acknowledge that it isn’t a completely polished independent short. The audio in the beginning is often quite echo-ey and shadows persist through most of the movie, signaling that a little more work needed to be done behind-the-scenes. However, The Gateway was shot in an apartment with just a 4-person crew in what I assume was one long night. Again, props to director Charles Chudabala and cinematographer Richard Agguire for pulling off something this good with such small resources. And while I enjoy Jennifer Nangle as an actress, I would like to see Charles work with a new crop of talent in the future. You never know what magic you can come up with when new minds work together.

My biggest take away from The Gateway, though, is the passion from the entire cast and crew. It takes a lot of guts to be an independent film-maker, especially in the horror genre. Fans and critics are ravenous. But I applaud Charles, Jennifer, Richard and the rest of The Gateway crew for saying “hey, let’s create something. anything. and just put it out there.” I would love to have that kind of energy and emotion and balls to create a project on a dime and open my work up to the world. I think many other aspiring film-makers would love to have the passion, too. It’s inspiring, really, to see people working for the love of it. Keep going, guys. I see you!

Final Score: 7 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)

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