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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Review: Occurrence at Mills Creek (Short)

Director: Don Swanson
Screenplay: Don Swanson
Year: 2019

Synopsis: After her mother and sister died, Clara fights with her grief and the supernatural occurrences around her.

The short film “Occurrence at Mills Creek” works as a preface to a self-titled full-length feature that will be released in summer 2020. In it close to 20 minutes runtime we see the story of Clara, interpreted by Ava Psoras in her acting debut, while she is facing her grieving process after losing her mother and sister. The reason why her mother dies is clear, but her sister’s death holds a few secrets.

“Occurrence at Mills Creek” explores grief and how this can affect the mental health of a person. The non-linear story that writer/director Don Swanson (“A Wish For Giants”) presents is complex and for me, it was a bit confusing. The story jumps through different moments and you have to pay attention to be able to identify the time and situation presented. The temporal jumps are well done to not interrupt the tension momentum and rather enforces it.

From this short, a complex story unfolds composed of several layers that promise to be an interesting puzzle. In it, mental health is explored in a supernatural context that is intentionally not clarified if it’s real or imaginary. The short film format is limited by how deeply this topic can be elaborated, but it generates high expectations of what can be done in a full-length format that does allow for deeper development. This is a movie I will keep an eye on for next summer as it promises to be interesting, to say the least.

For more information about this short film and the future full-length feature, you can access its official webpage.

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