RJ Bayley reviews short film The Puzzle...
As short horror films go The Puzzle isn't great. The acting is of questionable quality and that number one killer of the indie film, the sound quality, is rather poor. Obviously for such a short film it would be unfair to the piece to talk about the plot in detail, as by necessity of the format, there isn't much plot there at all.
What I will talk about though is the denouement. There's a very nice concept at work here, that of someone slowly piecing together the image of their own impending death. It's an idea that could work really well, but not enough thought has been put into it here. The method of reveal is a jigsaw puzzle, but what's puzzling about this puzzle is that depending on what the camera wants the viewer to know, the puzzle keeps on changing. The most notable culprit is the first major close-up of the puzzle, showing one image, in full, right to the edges of the jigsaw. However later, when the film wants you to 'get' the trick, its another image on the jigsaw, and obviously so. This time it's zoomed out, past the edges, and contains far more environment. Clearly great effort has been made in the production of several different jigsaws, but in the end isn't that just putting great effort into a sloppy job?
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