'Dream Castle' by Olax

Film name: 
Dream Castle
Team name: 
One Shot
Average rating: 
Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (3 votes)

Okay, so it’s the one-shot film of the heat. Style from the get-go, camera following a girl into a house, atmospheric electric guitar music providing the entire sound-base, setting up a dream-like quality to the thing. The camera peeks into rooms off the main hallway, and its like we’re stumbling upon some mad convention of freaky cults, everyone white-masked up and staring blankly towards us. The whole affair feels like it could be an outtake from “Eyes Wide Shut”; no idea what is going on but it holds, it’s mysterious, you can’t help but keep watching as we’re drawn further and further into this macabre house party.

And then, well, normality punches you rudely in the face. The song fades out, our girl meets another girl, and they talk about some, er, stuff. An ex-boyfriend maybe, dunno, couldn’t really hear anything. And then, a few minutes later, almost as if the film has now realised that the dialogue thing was A Bad Idea, the characters run back the way we came, do some strobe dancing with dodgy masked people, and the guitar music returns to play us out. However, by this time the magic has been broken and can’t be repaired.

Ironically, this film told more story when nobody was talking, and I think that’s a good general lesson for 48Hours (a.k.a. “show, don’t tell”). Oh well, I was utterly enthralled by the first few minutes anyway, and it was probably a fun party too.


This one-shot effort opens with no preamble on a long, sloooow tracking shot following a young woman into an old house where a strange party is happening and holy crap, this first part of the film is probably some of the most arresting imagery I've personally seen in the competition. As our heroine passes, robed and masked figures in side rooms turn to stare blankly and creepily at her from dark corners and moodily lit rooms, all while a song perfectly chosen to complete the eerie mood blares on the soundtrack. It really feels like she is entering some kind of macabre cult-house of devil worshippers or something, where God knows what unspeakable things are going on, and the apprehension created is pretty palpable. And then, she finally ducks into an end room, and, AND - starts talking sort of inanely to a bubbly party girl who has a bottle of Scrumpy tied to each hand. And then...she leaves (via a bit of dancing).

I thiiiiiiink (going by the name of the short, too) it was the intention of the filmmakers to try to set up that expectation of something malevolent, mysterious, and freaky about to happen and then subvert the audience's expectations. If so, mission accomplished, but you did such a good job of setting the scene (I can't emphasise enough how effective I found that first part of the film) that I can't help but wish that the film had carried on in that same vein instead. The overall result was screeds and screeds of visual style, but not a lot of substance. Still, clearly a team with some real visual panache, and I look forward to seeing what they do with that next year.


A young woman (who I instantly saw as an Alice type figure) walks slowly through a house surveying the odd characters, within the odd settings, inside the various rooms. It's a trippy experience, man, and I was completely engaged and intrigued until it all stopped when my Alice meets another young lady at what turns out to be a party. More visual oddities continue later on in the piece.

This had the feel of a music video until the dialogue pieces kicked in. The audio was a bit quiet and the volume of the music in some places didn't help much either. The shadow of the camera was also on the back of an actor at one point and the film in general was visually quite dark.

I enjoyed this though and would like to watch it all again to see what I missed. This is certainly a style film that I like as it tends to get me thinking and pondering the content.

Nice job!