McClain Lindquist’s adaptation of the great Edgar Allan Poe‘s The Tell Tale Heart is a wonderfully executed short film. A directorial debut for Lindquist, this Poe adaptation features some great imagery, special effects and set design.
The film follows the Narrator (Sonny Grimsley), who murders the old man (James C. Morris) in his care. He stashes the body beneath the floorboards of the home they share, but slowly descends into madness. This madness worsens when he’s interrogated by a pair of police officers (Teren Turner and Mikah Olsen).
For a first-timer, McClain Lindquist comes across as a great visual stylist and The Tell Tale Heart has some highly engaging visual concepts which really impress. He’s assisted by Joseph Oliva’s strong cinematography and Lyndi Bone’s excellent set design. For a short film, shot on a modest budget, this looks and feels much bigger – and the make-up effects are also very impressive. Credit must also go to editors Joel Petrie and Raymond Delmar as well as composer Joel Pack for their contributions.
You could argue that The Tell Tale Heart’s strong visuals over-take the performances in the film – and that’s valid. However, short films tend to be directing calling cards, not pieces which put the focus on performances.
For a short film which clocks-in at 20 minutes, The Tell Tale Heart makes for a strong calling card for director McClain Lindquist and his team. It’s an impressive movie, from a story by a great author and it deserves to be seen by fans of Edgar Allan Poe and horror aficionados. Seek it out.