The Twelve Shorts of Christmas #12: Night of the Slasher (2015)

US / 11 minutes / color / We Make Movies Dir & Scr: Shant Hamassian Pr: Adam Lesar, Eve Constance, Shant Hamassian Cine: Eli Tahan Cast: Lily Berlina, Scott Javore, Adam Lesar, David Swann, Eve Constance.

A teenager, Jenelle (Berlina), has a score to settle with a psycho. We read between the lines that the scar on her neck is a souvenir of a previous encounter with this unnamed killer, whom we’ll call the Slasher.

Lily Berlina as Jenelle

One night while Mom (Constance) and Dad (Swann) are out, she puts her plan into action. She has compiled a checklist of “Horror Movie Sins” that beautiful young blondes should commit if they want to lure psychos: Dance Half Naked, Drink Beer, Do Drugs, Have Sex. She does the first of these in the company of only the camera’s voyeuristic eye. (And very pleasurable to watch her dance is too, according to this site’s Artistic Justifiability Consultant.) The next two are done in the company of The Bait (Javore), a geeky classmate whom she’s invited to the house for the purpose. They’re well on the way to fulfilling the final item on Jenelle’s checklist when, sure enough, the Slasher (Lesar) shows up.

The Slasher looks like an unholy lovechild between Mr. Spock and Ghostface. He’s completely silent as he savagely offs The Bait and enters into a protracted duel with Jenelle, who has a plentiful supply of edged implements in the family kitchen and gives almost as good as she gets until . . . well, as she should have learned from her studies of horror movies, even decapitation isn’t necessarily enough to keep a good psycho down.

Adam Lesar as the Slasher

This is obviously an affectionate homage to the slasher movies it parodies, and it’s carried off really very well. The music (by Simon Michel), cinematography and direction all contribute to this, as does, very importantly, the performance of Lily Berlina, whose screen career, I feel, should following this have taken off a bit more than it has done. She has almost no dialogue—just the single word “yes”—yet manages to bring her character most vividly to life: Jenelle has cheerleader looks and her classmates probably dismiss her as an airhead, but she shows ingenuity, determination and guts.

Scott Javore as The Bait with Lily Berlina as Jenelle

The movie has won or been nominated for a whole slew of festival awards, both for itself and, each on a couple of occasions, for Eli Tahan’s cinematography and Lily Berlina’s performance.

There are copies of Night of the Slasher all over the intertubes. They vary a bit in picture quality and running time but this one, posted on Vimeo by the director himself, is presumably definitive.

One thought on “The Twelve Shorts of Christmas #12: Night of the Slasher (2015)

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