[Short Film Review] The Purgamentum
We know how scary bodies of water can be, right? Like something about dark and deep waters, still unexplored species, it's truly...terrifying to even think about. And that's where The Purgamentum comes in, a dark eco-horror short film to fuel those fears you had and ones you didn't know you could have about unexplored places in the water.
The Purgamentum features Amy (Julie Bruns), who is a marine biologist stationed in a float house. One night, Amy starts hearing strange and unfamiliar noises coming from the underwater microphone. Amy decides to reach out to get help from Stan (Shawn Major), a underwater technician, to see what could the sound be. As Stan was getting ready and Amy was still wondering what the sound could have been from, neither of them were ready for what was underneath.
As I mentioned previously, bodies of water can be scary. So finding out this short was filmed in a REAL body of water and not in a pool as other projects are usually filmed in, it added a certain uneasy feeling as I didn't know how scary underwater could be at night. So scary, dark waters and silent, suspenseful moments makes for you sitting at the edge of your seat, mentally screaming at the screen "don't do that, don't go there!".
The performances from Julie Bruns and Shawn Major were fantastic as they played off each other so well. Amy (Bruns) seemed to be the more "shy" and cautious marine biologist with a story to tell (which I really want to know more of!), meanwhile Stan (Major), was the more laid-back, underwater tech who has seen a lot on this job but doesn't come off rude about it. Also while we chat about Stan, I learned a fun fact about Major: he is a real life accomplished diver! Isn't that super neat? Only thing I'd have to say is, I am so bummed this is just a short at the moment because now I will be wondering what the heck happened at the end. But that's also what makes this short film so great at the same time, so we'll just have to wait and see.
(Left: Julie Bruns as "Amy" | Right: Shawn Major as "Stan")
The Purgamentum was filmed as part of the Blood n Guts 48-hour film competition in Vancouver, Canada (so yes, this short was fully made and delivered in under 48 hours!) with the score being recorded live using an erhu (a Chinese two-stringed fiddle) by Gizelle Rocha. This would make it Julie Bruns' third film as a writer/director and first time playing a lead role while also directing, Steven Kammerer's second film as a writer/director and Shawn Major's directorial debut. A team of talented individuals putting together such a unique, mysterious and chilling short, that I can't wait to see what else they will bring to the world of horror.
Overall rating: 4/5 knives🔪
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