Review: Horror/Thriller GRIEF Delivers A Lot In 14 Minutes

4 out of 5 stars

Written and directed by Brock Bodell and Daniel Perry, Grief is a tense and well-crafted short film. A dramatic horror/thriller, the film focuses on Kevin and Esther (Tyler Cooke and Lindsey Garrett), a couple who had their son abducted the previous year. Shattered by their loss, things come to a head one evening when a mysterious and unexpected visitor (Gabriel Burrafato) arrives at their home. 

Understanding the mechanics of making a short film is a skill, because they don’t usually have the traditional structure of a feature. Grief begins in a conventional sense, before descending into a hellish nightmare. Bodell and Perry make both these different aspects work, delivering some strong emotional beats, as well as tense and visceral action. As the film moves towards its climax, there are hints of the the visual and emotional turmoil of Darren Aronofsky’s 2017 release, Mother!

Tyler Cooke and Lindsey Garrett deliver some strong work as the grieving parents at the centre of Grief. They’re able to sell the moments of anguish and tension, as the couple attempt to make sense of the loss of their son. This is made even more impressive because they don’t have a great amount of time to do so. 

Clocking in at just under 14 minutes, Grief manages to cover a lot of ground in its slight running time. Both the character moments and drama work, while the film also hits the right horror notes with some well placed scares. This is wonderfully succinct filmmaking.