Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Lasiurus






I'm generally not a huge horror fan. I don't avoid it or anything. It's just the genre isn't really my cup of tea. Despite this, when I do watch it, one sure way to get me interested is for the setting be apocalyptic in some way.

So today, we have Lasiurus.

The writer/director is Marcus Alqueres. I don't know his stuff, of course, but like most short film writer/directors, he seems to have done a lot of visual effects work. Also, Alqueres apparently has some kind of deal with Sony at the moment due to one of his older shorts called The Flying Man. I've seen The Flying Man, and it definitely looked good, but its main problem was a pretty common one when it comes to short films... there's too much "potential", and not enough "delivery".  I don't want to knock the effort or anything, there was some definite talent involved, the film was well done, and obviously with very little money too, I just wish thee guys would tell a full story in their short films, instead of making what amounts to a vague teaser for a franchise that will probably never happen.

So, right from the start, I'm a little unsure about Lasiurus. Just in setting up this post, I see a lot of potential red flags popping up in a lot of the usual places. The first red flag comes from the fact that I read a press release about Lasiurus that said this short film is supposed to feature a story/world that is intended to be explored more in a feature length narrative, so... that's a bummer.

The synopsis for Lasiurus reads simply: What if you are the last one to know? 

This is the next big red flag, of course. Here we have a synopsis that is underwritten and not intriguing at all. It feels like there was no effort put into it at all. So, the question becomes... why is there no effort? Do they just not care? Or is there actually no story at all? Hands down, this is a shit synopsis, but while either option is problematic, the latter is definitely worse than the former. And that's not to say that the synopsis doesn't raise any questions, just that it doesn't do it in the good way. "Last one to know" what? I assume it means "what if you were the last one to know the apocalypse was happening" but the only way I know that is because I read it in an article about the short. If I had just been scrolling through short films, I would've barely stopped for it.

Bottom line? Synopses matter, put some effort into that shit...


It's hard to get behind a really dumb protagonist.

You could probably make the argument that he's just oblivious, maybe, not dumb, but he's so oblivious that it just strains credulity. I hate to be the guy who questions the timeline of a bat-demon apocalypse, was this the neatest and quickest and quietest apocalypse ever? This question may seem nitpicky, but it's also an indication of the film's main problem...

Like The Flying Man, Lasiurus looks good, but the story is non-existent.

There's almost nothing here, narrative-wise. After watching it, I have all the questions possible as to what was going on, and the film answers pretty much none of them. It doesn't even try to. Granted, the stated purpose of the film is to pitch a feature length project, but what have you really got here? A vague vampire/zombie apocalypse with bats? Does that really need a pitch? It's kind of like saying: "I want to make a movie where a lady meets an unlikely guy, and at first they don't seem like a good match, but guess what? ...They are." Who's wowed by that? "It's a monster movie. Full stop." Why would anyone need this short film to sell the concept?

In the end, Lasiurus is well shot, but it doesn't give you much to hold onto.

Jon

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