Writer Jasper Marlow and director Dane McCusker have crafted an interesting and cautionary tale in their short film Reception (2011). An expectant mother Evelyn (Jessica Tovey) is working the night shift at a hostel when she is asked to investigate strange noises coming from one of the tenant’s room. Despite being apprehensive about becoming a new mother what she discovers in the room of the tenant from which the strange noises originate will force her to come to grips with her own reluctance.
At less than 8 minutes, Reception gives viewers an alternative look at motherhood from someone who may not have wanted to become a mother but had it thrust upon her. The magic in the film is that this is all done through art direction and cinematography. The very first scene has Evelyn deciding whether or not to take a drink of wine. Once she enters the room of the tenant she is thrust into a world of teddy bears and children’s toys that assault her directly and chastise her for all the bad decisions that she’s probably made since learning she was pregnant. It’s a hard truth that she must confront when she learns the true horrors that await her inside the room.
Director of photography Michael Steel does a great job bringing out the horror that awaits Evelyn simply through the choices of saturated colors which are even more enhanced by the music of Sam McCusker. This is a creepy and unsettling film that doesn’t rely on a lot of blood and gore and has something more to say than many of the other run-of-mill short horror films.
You can watch the full film online at FearNet - http://www.fearnet.com/shorts/reception