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Walt – 7

Director – Randal Plunkett

Cast – Cian Lavelle-Walsh, John E. Regan, Sorcha Lavelle-Walsh

Release Year – 2011

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Short horror films have a special place in my heart because they allow me to get my horror fix in a short amount of time. My quest for short horror films often leads to dead ends, as they are usually hard to find for me or leave me with a poor experience. I recently was given a chance to view a 2011 short film from up and coming Irish horror autuer, Randal Plunkett, and I must say that I was more than impressed with what I saw. Naturally I did not know what to expect from someone without a full-length film under his belt, but judging from this experience I can see that the man has talent in taking advantage of everything around him and delivering a solid effort in a mere 22 minutes.

Walt is the story of James (Cian Lavelle Walsh), a young boy having a difficult adolescence with a dead mother and drunk absent father. Living a sad existence in which he is bullied at school, James spends his days alone wondering the open fields near his house. One day as he is walking bya river hear the woods, he meets an old blind American, Walt (John Regan; Spiderhole). Walt befriends James, understanding what it is to be an outcast himself, having no family or friends of his own. Walt takes on a father-like relationship with James, allowing the young boy to express himself through their time together fishing in the country river. But Walt is not all that he seems, and what seems like a simple tale of friendship and coming of age quickly leads to a nightmare.

The film starts off slow, establishing the atmosphere and giving us a taste of the ambience and subsequent horror to come. We learn right away that James is an outcast and does not have many friends who care for him, and him meeting the kind old Walt gives him what he believes to be a true friend despite the enormous age difference. The story takes its time developing, and we watch James and Walt build their friendship one day at a time through advice, life lessons, and freshwater fishing. This being a horror film means you know to expect some dire events to show eventually, and Plunkett’s execution had me finding it hard to believe this was a horror film at first. The film was visually beautiful and the soundtrack complimented the visuals perfectly, and old Walt came off as the kind old man that we all wish we could spend some time talking to. Eventually the horror did hit the screen, and despite this simple story being one that I could predict I still found the horror pretty good and representative of Plunkett’s ability to execute it.

Rating: 7/10

  1. November 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I’m glad you focused on a short horror film, because I’ve never thought about watching one before. I’ll have to check this one out. Btw, I saw Sinister on Halloween, and oh man, I rarely scream out loud in a theater, but I did during that movie!

    • November 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Awesome! I’m glad you got scared. It’s a rarity to be scared in theaters these days.

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