An Old Woman. Alone. At night. What could possibly go wrong?
I recently had the pleasure of watching a short film directed by Joshua Giuliano called, “Grandma’s House.” And it was… fantastic. So let me share a few thoughts with you. And I promise, I’ll try really hard not to share any spoilers, because the surprise of this film is 80% of the fun.
The Crunchy Details:
Title: Grandma’s House
Length: 11 minutes 24 seconds
Director: Joshua Guiliano
Project Back Story:
Grandma’s House began it’s life as a successful kickstarter project. It’s production took place over two weekends (3 days) at a single location in Los Angeles, CA. It’s been making the festival circuit for the last year and premiered on Film Shortage on October 15th, 2018. (Which is today!!!)
I ended up watching this film in a very weird way. I was feeling bummed thanks to a little post-con-depression after Rock and Shock and I decided to answer some emails while walking the track at the park near my house. While doing that I found one from Joshua, the director of today’s short. I figured, “I can walk and watch a short at the same time, why not?” And did just that. I must have looked like a crazy woman because as I was watching I found myself yelling at the characters. Warning them, telling them to not go in the basement and frequently laughing when the plot took unexpected turn after unexpected turn. It completely made my day to watch this.
This film revels in the slow creeping dread of classic horror and then branches out into something more like an action movie. Your expectations of the characters gets flipped multiple times during this film. And that was a big part of why it got me laughing. It’s not that this is a horror comedy. It’s actually more of a horror thriller- for the most part. But the comedy came from the story subverting my expectations left and right.
I really enjoyed the cinematography in this, with eerie, invasive camera movements opening up the story and adding to the tension all along the way. And my favorite part by far is Lana Locke, Grandma. She steals your heart immediately with her performance and apparently the director discovered her when she responded to a flyer he had posted in her apartment complex. She’s never acted before. Which is shocking because she felt so incredibly natural on camera.
I’d love to go into more detail about things I enjoyed in this short, but then I’d be leaving all sorts of spoilers all over the page. So I’ll stop here.
5 out of 5 stars. The world needs more creeping surprising horror like “Grandma’s House” in it.
Here’s a little bit about the intention of the film straight from the director, Joshua Guiliano.
I liked the idea of restricting a Hollywood movie’s worth of stunts, thrills and spectacle to about thirty yards of floor space. Instead of focusing on the big moments — explosions, jumps, crashes — I set out to create and sustain tension through small, seemingly arbitrary details — reloading a gun, descending a flight of stairs, opening a door — all at a fraction of the pace of a big budget set piece. A breakneck pursuit in slow motion. But while I enjoyed attempting to subvert the home invasion thriller and action movie, the core draw for me was the character of Grandma. My own Grandma had just recently passed away prior to filming, and in a way, this was how I payed my respects to her legacy: her wisdom, mischief, and ruggedness that could only have been earned by living a long and full life. (Joshua Guiliano, director)
Where to Watch:
“Grandma’s House” is up RIGHT NOW on Film Shortage… and possibly for a limited time, so make sure to catch it while you can: https://filmshortage.com/dailyshortpicks/grandmas-house/