After fifteen years of reviewing films and interviewing actors and filmmakers, Neville Pierce decided to put what he had learned into practical use and jumped behind the camera to direct three very engaging and different shorts that showed this reviewer he made the right choice in regards to getting behind the camera.
Edgar Allan Poe is always a great source of inspiration and Bricks is a very well done update of Poe’s classic tale ‘The Cask of Amontillado’. William (Blake Ritson) is a wealthy stockbroker who hires builder Clive (Jason Flemyng) to renovate his wine cellar. The couldn’t be more different and while for a time it looks as if they might actually get along, the reality is there much more going on here than meets the eye. The two actors work well together but it is Ritson who brings that level of creepiness and sense of danger that really sets the tone for the short. Director and co-writer Neville Pierce sets the tone well by making the wine cellar such an important part of what you are watching. The feeling of claustrophobia and foreboding is wonderful and the actors seem to play off it and use it to their advantage. A great short film, Brick shows you how a simple conversation about laying brick can turn into something deadly and very entertaining.
In this short, we watch a woman go on a series of dates, which are not only hilarious in all their disastrous glory, but she is accompanied by the ghost of her late husband, who only she can see. Rebecca (Alice Lowe) is looking for love and really, in all the wrong places. Lowe is hilarious as Rebecca, who goes back and forth from arguing with her dead husband, which has her on the receiving end of many strange looks, and unfortunately sitting across from dates who range from narcissistic, can’t put their phone’s down, too much baggage or just plain rude. Jamie Russell (who wrote the scripts for all three shorts, co-wrote Bricks with Neville Pierce) writes a smart and funny script here, and Pierce paces it wonderfully as the director, giving Lowe plenty of time to shine and she takes advantage of that and then some.
Richard (Tim McInnerny) is the landlord of a pub and is about to be a grandad. His pregnant daughter Lucy (Lucy Boynton), who works at the bar, has the misfortune of being there while closing when gangster Jimmy (Nicholas Pinnock) shows up looking for protection money. Of course, nothing is ever as it seems and as it turns out, Richard and Jimmy have a history together. With most of the action taking place in the pub between the three actors, the burden is on them to give the viewer a sense of dread and mystery around the past that eventually comes to the surface and thankfully, they are all up to the challenge. There is an edge about this short, a feeling in the air that gives it a sense of danger. Once again, director Pierce has a small enclosed area, just like in Bricks, to add that feeling of claustrophobia and foreboding that really adds something to the already tense situation that unfolds over the duration of the short.
Director Neville Pierce has put together three very good short films, ranging from humor to horror to drama. He clearly knows what he is doing and by exploring these different kinds of shorts, I hope it helps him decide which direction to go when it comes time to make a feature-length film.
The Three Neville Pierce Shorts are available to watch on Vimeo from Monday, February 5th.
The films will also be screening on the YouTube channel Tall Tales, the new online home for indie films. Lock In will play on Tall Tales from February 6th, Ghosted from February 13th and Bricks later in 2018.
Four and a half stars out of five
- Three very different and well-done shorts
- First time director Neville Pierce directs like a veteran
- Great acting, writing and feel from all the shorts
- I wish they could have been longer