One man, one paranormal entity — the Barber Brothers’ short film, Go Back, is here to bring all the “nopes” of driving alone through a woodland country road. Everyday objects seem sinister, but it is the unseen paranormal activity that should actually be feared.
The Barber Brothers build tension in realistic ways rather than writing taxing leaps in logic or relying on jump scares. An innocent look-around in the back seat that could lead to a car crash, a silhouette in the road draped by a tarp, an ominous thud on the roof of the car, chiller! All of these events built suspense and nothing seemed gratuitous — it is a very lean 6 minute short, after all. The 70s aesthetic appealed to me, using what looks like a 1978 Monte Carlo along with the leisure suit garb for the lone (human) character. And with all of that, Go Back is also edited very well.
Starring Nathaniel Barber as Scott, a man who we meet driving along a lonely dirt road, covered in the black of night. Unable to see beyond his headlights, he drives (somewhat) cautiously towards his unknown destination. Or away from somewhere? Then out of nowhere, he sees a figure in the middle of the road draped in a plastic tarp. After removing the inconvenience he continues, only to come upon the same figure again. Chalking it up to hillbillies having their fun, he bravely continues on, though literally everything keeps telling him to go back!
Go Back has a creepy piano score, one of those ones that tattle that you’re definitely watching a horror film, but instead of feeling cliché, oddly, this score helps to build the aforementioned suspense. However, a brief misstep in the suspense strategy may have been that they jumped the gun on showing the paranormal entity. It may have been more effective if that was shown only at the very end, and it may have even made my favorite part where a car randomly turns off yet more creepy. Despite getting the full monty of the creature, the film’s ending was still very effective.
Go Back has a lot of elements that all come together to make the perfect amuse-bouche of a horror film; it is short and sweet and it got a small but fair yelp out of me. Go Back is showing at Panic Fest 2020 Short Film Showcase Block #2 on January 25th.
MOVIE RATING 7.5 out of 10 ☠️
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