Screamfest 2011 Short Film Review – AN EVENING WITH MY COMATOSE MOTHER

Written and Directed By  – Jonathan Martin
Cast – Wendy Macy, Michele Turner Wilson and Missy Hill

When Dorothy is invited over to the Poe’s on Halloween night, no one ever told her about their decomposing, comatose mother living in the upstairs bedroom. She’ll wish somebody had when the storm hits, and Mother wakes up.

The short film AN EVENING WITH MY COMATOSE MOTHER played before the full length features ISOLATION and ENTER NOWHERE.  A film that could have easily been a total of 10 minutes seemed to last way too long for what they were trying to accomplish.  Obviously, the writer/director Jonathan Martin was doing his best to take a page from the early Sam Raimi / Peter Jackson book of horror.  I have no problem with this except for the fact it seemed to be executed all wrong here.

There were pieces of this film which seemed to work aesthetically and sadly that’s the only good thing I can say about it.  Wendy Macy’s acting was in a completely different zip code than where ‘subtlety’ exists.  Actually, the only ones in this that didn’t seem to be mugging for the camera was the character I’d dub as ‘Evil Tiny Tim’.  The story really didn’t make much sense.  All these random, nightmare-like things happening and the comatose mother is ultimately blamed.  And what happens after the bit with the clown that this comatose old woman seems to be fond of?  Well, she apparently becomes something of a deadite and hunts Dorothy.  If you can call it hunting, anyway, as Dorothy (in all her overacting glory) mostly just cowers in a corner.

I get what Mr. Martin was trying to do here and at the very least, he succeeding with his homage to films like EVIL DEAD and DEAD/ALIVE. The production quality was decent and the swooping Sam Raimi-esque camera movements did take me back to an earlier time in horror films. But the overall piece was laughable and not in the way I think he was going for.  Yet alas, here I am giving this short a negative review and after a little research on the film, all I’m find are positive reviews and accolades.  So, either they drank the kool aid on this one or I’m just full of crap.

For more information about AN EVENING WITH MY COMATOSE MOTHER, check their website. – Aaron Pruner