I don’t know if you realize it but there’s a group of very talented filmmakers living and working in New York City. Of course I’m not referring to big budget Hollywood filmmakers — they are more like ‘directors’ just taking on any project that comes their way. I’m talking about passionate, dedicated, visionaries who only take on passion projects where they can bare their souls and and really push the envelop of both their own skills and the genre. Filmmakers like Alan Rowe Kelly (GALLERY OF FEAR), Bart Mastronardi (VINDICATION), and Jeremiah Kipp (CRESTFALLEN). Lucky for us (and the genre), these three talented filmmakers keep moving forward making films and helping each other make films. Jeremiah Kipp is up next with his new short film, BAGGAGE.
I won’t be able to say too much about BAGGAGE because I don’t wanna give any of the ending away, but BAGGAGE is the story of a seemingly timid man, Benjamin (Rob Dimension). Benjamin lives a pretty normal, almost boring, life that is the same routine day in and day out. He wakes up, kisses his girlfriend Julia (Ilaria Malvezzi) good morning, has break with his girlfriend, and then goes to work riding the same train. Even his job looks tedious and soul-sucking. It’s easy to see that Benjamin is a man who doesn’t easily connect with others. Whenever someone tries to make small talk with him he just starts talking about his girlfriend, Julia. It’s clear that Julia is everything to him and without her he’d be a very lonely, distant man. One day on his way home from work he stops by a corner bar for a beer. He’s carrying the briefcase he always carries around (and he always seems to carry it a bit too carefully). Two street thugs (Chris Raddatz and Thomas Mendolia) size up Benjamin as an easy target and follow him out of the bar when he leaves. The corner him in the train station and when they reach for his briefcase things go from bad to worse. This is all I’m going to say about the plot. The ending had me on the edge of my seat and even though the final revelation wasn’t much of a shock, it was pretty damn effective.
The first thing I noticed about this short is the soundtrack, by composer Barbara J. Weber. The soundtrack is simply perfect for this short and it really did a lot to help convey a particular atmosphere of gloom and impending doom. Weber’s soundtrack was so perfect that I looked her up on IMDb to see what other projects she worked on so I can check them out — which is a first for me (she also did the soundtrack for the TV series, IN FEAR OF and for another horror short, A CHANCE IN HELL). The acting was also spot on here. Rob Dimension (Benjamin) has the responsibility of carrying the entire short. He’s pretty much in every scene and was more than up to the task in the leading role.
The short itself is paced nicely and never lags. Jeremiah Kipp knows exactly where he wants this short to go and he expertly takes us there. Kipp is one of those directors who gets better with every project he works on. He’s a master of his craft and the genre could use more individuals like Kipp who have a strong eye for detail and don’t need cats jumping on people for jolts and scares. Kipps films get under your skin and you find yourself thinking about them days after you viewed it. I’m not absolutely sure when BAGGAGE will be released but as soon as I know I’ll pass it along. Don’t miss BAGGAGE!!
Director: Jeremiah Kipp
Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Gore: 2 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer