Hello my fellow horror fanatics. Immortal Alexander here with another horror film review. This time it’s for the short horror film “I Baked Him A Cake.” This is the second film I’ve reviewed from writer / producer Samantha Kolesnik. The film is directed by Vanessa Ionta Wright “I Baked Him A Cake” is about a little girl who bakes a cake for her father on his birthday. I am assuming this is an annual tradition. Something sinister is happening from the start of the film. This sinister undercurrent permeates the entire piece.
The film begins with the little girl waking up and entering the family bathroom to start her day. There is way too much blood coating every surface of the bathroom, and the little girl’s father is nowhere to be seen. This leads to a tense yet comical exchange between the mother and her daughter. The mother gives her daughter a very strange explanation for the copious amounts of blood [as if everything is perfectly fine]. After the disturbing bathroom scene the little girl goes about making her father a cake.
The plot is not especially deep but that does not take away from the atmosphere that is the heart and soul of this film. The sound design, and score help punch up the feeling of dread as well. The music informs the viewer that things could go very bad for the little girl at any moment. The dread is amplified by the obedient little girl who is observing and processing the events quietly in her own mind. Her quiet reflection is want makes you connect with her. The mother on the other hand is very blunt in her behavior. This adds to both the terror and the humor of the film as the mother goes about her “busy work” in preparation for the family celebration.
The film is short [It’s only about five minutes long]. I was very impressed with how strong the film was and how efficiently the director [Vanessa Ionta Wright] brought Samantha’s writing to life. To be able to tell a strong story in such a short piece is the mark of a great storyteller. If I were to compare this film tonally I would equate it to the zombie drama film “Maggie” which in my opinion was a great film but was not emotionally perfect. Some things felt forced, and not as natural as they could.
What I would like to see from both the writer and the director going forward is to use more misdirection, and push for a more impactful ending that stays with the viewers. A film I would use as an example would be Stephen King’s “Misery.” As a novel and a film that story has stayed with me long after the credits rolled.
This is what I want more of from horror. Films like this that use human connections to create tension. I love the direction Samantha is going in with her writing, and Vanessa comes off as a very confident director. Strong drama is the core of any great horror film. I tend to prefer those types of films over slashers. A strong story not just entertains me but inspires me as well.
I give “I Baked Him A Cake” 4 out of 5 blood spattered stars.
I really enjoyed this film so thank you Samantha for sending me a screener link. I am excited to watch more your work, and to see where you take me emotionally in your next film.
Samantha is a writer, producer, director, and the Co-Founder / Director of The Women in Horror Film Festival (WIHFF)
Vanessa is a film writer and director. She is also the festival Director for WIHFF.
You can watch the teaser for “I Baked Him A Cake” HERE
You can follow this film on Facebook HERE
You can follow Samantha on twitter HERE
You can follow Vanessa on twitter HERE