NIGHT TIDE **** UK 2019 Dir: Richard Miller. 9 mins
Few everyday things are as gruelling as the protracted breakdown of a relationship, and this successfully filters one such example through the prism of a genuinely creepy J-horror-influenced tale of the supernatural.
Gavin Fowler (Simon in PENNY DREADFUL) is a young husband stuck in a joyless domestic life at Christmas with an other half (Bethan Sweet) who rarely looks up from her mobile phone. Disturbed one night by someone pounding at the front door, he is then harassed by a recurring ringtone, the fleeting sight of a mysterious woman in a nightgown walking through the house and unreliable, flickering light sources… Co-writer / director Richard Miller sustains an eerie ambience, with effective use of music and a couple of startling shocks paving the way for a well executed twist and a surprisingly poignant outcome. This cleverly constructed short is spooky as a genre piece but finds its most impactful emotional beats in a core story grounded in the normal rather than the paranormal.
Review by Steven West