Short films work if there is a punch at the ending that makes everything that came before it worth the wait. I cannot say that this has never been more true than in director Adam O’Brien’s film A Little Off The Top (2012). This is the story of a hair stylist by the name of Sylvio (played by the charismatic David Nerman) who has an old client by the name of Ingrid Clifford (Ingrid Falaise) in his chair one evening. Ingrid is now a star of which Sylvio helped mold and style her on her way to the top only Ingrid has never credited Sylvio for his contributions. Now that he has her in his chair he will put the wrong things right whether she likes it or not.
For the most part the film seems to be held together by the unnerving Sylvio who plays up his sin of envy very well. Nerman is magnetic in the role and since he carries the whole film a less capable actor could have made this a disastrous affair. Thankfully, Nerman brings the right edge of jealousy to his Sylvio so that he never comes off as a caricature. The screenplay by Mathieu Demers and Christian Rivest is precise with the right amount of dread and doom. O’Brien does the film justice by staying on Sylvio for most of the film and leaving Ingrid to the periphery as we see everything as he sees it. When Sylvio presents his true intentions upon Ingrid it is a shock leaving the final punch for those that stayed with the film till the bitter end. Like every good short film A Little Off The Top ends with a jolt that you want soon forget.
O’Brien goes a long way to show that you don’t need much to craft a good horror film but that little has to go a long way and in this film it truly does.