It’s been a while since I’ve gotten the chance to see some horror shorts, but recently I found myself with the house all to myself and the chance to catch up on some horror viewing. The first thing I watched was the short, SUNDAY BEST. Clive Tonge directed, produced, co-wrote (with Ian Fenton), and co-edited (with Ben Race) this short about the dangers of knocking on the wrong people’s door.
As the short begins we hear the news report of another victim being found with their thigh bone removed. This seems to be the M.O. of the killer who’s been dubbed ‘The Bone Stripper’ by the media and it seems the police have no clues as to the killer’s identity. Soon after a stranger walking down a dark road is nearly killed by a car. The stranger, Kane (Andrew Squires), gathers himself up and makes his way to the nearest house to find a phone. The house is owned by elderly couple Albert and Gladys (Bill Fellows and Valerie Shields respectively), who do the “Christian thing” and take in the stranger, even though he has a healthy amount of blood on him. The couple tell Kane they were about to sit down for dinner and after he washes up he is welcome to join them. But everything isn’t as it seems in this household. Is Kane ‘The Bone Stripper’? What’s the older couple’s secret? To tell anymore would ruin the fun here.
This is one of those shorts that needs to grab you immediately. Clocking in just under seven minutes, SUNDAY BEST doesn’t have a lot of time to develop back story and get into any of the characters’ pasts. But Tonge does a really nice job establishing an creepy and foreboding tone. The acting is good all around and Tonge puts together a solid short film. The ending won’t be as much as a shock to you as the filmmaker’s would like, but this is still an enjoyable short. With an estimated budget of around £500, Tonge gets every penny up on the screen. SUNDAY BEST is now on the film festival circuit but will hopefully be available soon afterwards. I’ve been saying for a while now that short films really test a filmmaker’s skill set, and SUNDAY BEST shows that Clive Tonge has a lot to offer.
Director: Clive Tonge (& producer, co-writer, co-editor)
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Gore: 2 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer