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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Review: The Tell Tale Heart (Short)

Director: McClain Lindquist
Screenplay: John Lindquist and McClain Lindquist
Year: 2020

When I found out about the existence of this short film I have to admit that I got excited, as "The Tell-Tale Heart" is my favorite short story from writer Edgar Allan Poe. At the same time, some worry grew on me as by adapting any literary piece it is necessary to modify it so that it can be adjusted to the media in which it will be presented and to represent the style of who wants to adapt the piece, The short film “The Tell Tale Heart” is not only a worthy adaptation of an important literary work, but it also enhances all the qualities that make this piece be so terrifying.

After receiving a call from a neighbor, two police officers go to investigate the house where they suspect a murder has been committed. Both agents are received by an eccentric man, who is the caretaker of the owner of the house, a frail old man. While the officers conduct their interrogation, the caretaker breaks under the pressure and reveals a dark secret.

“The Tell Tale Heart” is an interesting delve into the mind of a madman. The plot of the film is narrated from the perspective of the caretaker, who is an unreliable narrator, and something in which the director McClain Lindquist capitalizes on by using time leaps and vibrant or somber cinematography to emphasize on his mental state. This dichotomy is emphasized even more in the way in which the short film is edited and with the excellent use of visuals and sound to accentuate the tension. 

This modernization of a classic tale captures the viewer from the start with the voice and vocabulary of the narrator and makes its 22 minutes of runtime fly by. Besides modernizing it and emphasizing its qualities Lindquist introduces his own elements from horror cinema along with a few jump scares so that you cannot distinguish is the thumping you hear comes from the movie or from yourself. Without fear of exaggerating, this short film is the best adaptation available of the classic tale from Edgar Allan Poe and one that all horror movie fans will enjoy no matter how unfamiliar they are with the work of the author.