The Black Phantom

Average: 2.2 (3 votes)
The Monster Movie
Christchurch > 01

This starts with a confession cam that relates the story of a monster that appears in the forest and terrorizes a group of teens.

I appreciated that this short maintained a serious tone throughout which is no mean feat in 48HRS. There was a HUGE scream which pulled most of the audience out of their seats, so well played. That scare, however, was the most frightening aspect as the Black Phantom itself kind of lurched along behind our teens for most of the film. In the future, try and get a bit more coverage. There was a reliance on a few too many long takes which is a good way to save time but can cut down some of the variety and necessary intimacy of a film - especially if a wider shots is used.

Zac Neill

I've just realised that I'm trailing MistaTeas in these reviews which is both a blessing because of the synopsis but also a curse cause he nails the review everytime.

Firstly, the scream made me jump out of my seat like nothing else, I hope you guys got a kick out of seeing the entire theatre do that haha

I also agree that there were too many long shots used. The one during the climax of the film needed some sort of cut to the actors scared faces, or something to show the heightened sense of panic, because the scariness fell flat as a result.

Haha, it would appear that most of my feedback for you guys has already been said above.

instead of me making you re-read things what I'll add to this is I liked your twist in the end, but I would have liked to see it come back to how you began with your interview footage (or maybe you did and I can't remember?), it's always good to bring it back to it's roots if you can, and because you started with the interviews it would have been a clever idea to try and present the twist in that format too.

Alexander Jones
city manager

Oh boy oh boy, this film, being the first 48hour film I watched as city manager, was absolutely bananas.

I think this film wins my unofficial "Fever Dream" award, or it's at least a nominee! Your film, whether you intended it to be or not, was HILARIOUS, I love the style, I love the blackface shadow, I love the ominous voice over at the end, all of these things made this film insanely enjoyable and entertaining, and really put the competition into perspective.

IF you would like to hone your craft and climb the ladder to be one of the greats, I would recommend working on your technical skills, as well as getting a touch more naturalistic performances out of the actors- nothing sticks out more than when a character's line is cut off by someone else in the script, and the actor delivers it verbatim ("Wait, that means its a...a..."), I would recommend either not scripting lines like that or having their co-star cut them off before they even finish their line.

I would also recommend working on your story arch, this film ain't too bad of a story for a school team, but it would have been nice to see some more developments in the middle of the story (hey, middles are difficult).

I agree with the reviews above, in terms of a narrative device, if you open with a video interrogation, you should probably close with a video interrogation, or at least don't switch narrative devices entirely, as you ended the film on narration.

Lastly, a quick wrap on the knuckles for you- the USB you handed in had your incredibly large file zipped, and it took me a few hours to actually get it in a form in which I could watch it. A more brutal city manager would have just disqualified you so please be more careful next year!

As for your title, "The Black Phantom" is nice an ominous, if a little cliche. Maybe something more subtle would have been spookier.