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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Review: The Silent Lay Steady

Director: Travis Laidlaw

Screenplay: Travis Laidlaw

Year: 2020

A young woman finds herself alone in her house in the middle of a funeral. While she tries to understand what is going on, she starts hearing noise and seeing strange happenings in the house. The young woman gets a horrible surprise when she discovers the source of the noises. 

At the beginning of this short film written and directed by Travis Laidlaw ("Dead House"), we see a man and his son in an old house, and they seem to be witnessing something supernatural. Thereafter, the story immediately focuses on a young woman in that same house, but in another realm where they do not coincide. The visual aspect, where a palette of blue and faint colors are used, helps create a dismal and somber atmosphere that follows the protagonist as she investigates what is happening, accompanied by an excellent soundtrack. 

It is interesting trying to, along with the main characters, uncover the mystery that surrounds her. The problem with this short is that, even with a short 15 minutes runtime, the development is slow and feels way too long. For most of the short film, we follow a character in her search for information, but this time doesn’t serve to get to know her better, but rather focuses on crafting an oppressive atmosphere, which is achieved in the first minutes. 


It is not until the last few minutes that “The Silent Lay Steady” gets a nice rhythm and starts to mix the atmosphere with the horror. These final minutes are excellent but leave the feeling that the short film could have benefited from trimming some of the central parts and being more direct and cohesive. Even when the center can be arid, “The Silent Lay Steady” is a great short for lovers of haunted house and slow-burn movies.

At the time of this writing, the short film is making rounds in movie festivals and will soon be available to the general public. To watch the trailer, you can go to the director’s official webpage, Travis Laidlaw.

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