My offering for today’s short is 1999’s On Edge, directed by Frazer Lee, who adapted it for the screen from Christopher Fowler’s short story. “But Erin, didn’t you already cover this one?” you may ask. “Isn’t this already a full-length post?” Yes. Yes it is. However, there is nothing more perfect than this moment to re-share my absolute favorite. This is my knock-down, drag-out, hands-down favorite short film, it fits my Saturday shtick, and it’s Halloween to boot. The stars have aligned to give me one hell of a Halloween post this year. So for those of you that haven’t seen it yet, here it is (you can finally see what it is that I won’t shut up about). As I warned last time, if you don’t do well with dentists, you’re going to be uncomfortable.
|Pinhead as a dentist is wrong on so many levels, yet oh so right.|
I can wax poetic about this one all day. So rather than blathering on again about what I liked about this short film, I figured why not change it up a bit? This girl is going to have a seat and let someone else do the talking for once (write this day down). I reached out to Mr. Lee, who was both gracious and kind enough to give me some insight into the film:
“I was reading Christopher Fowler’s original short story in his collection Sharper Knives. When I got to the ending I sat bolt upright and thought, ‘This has to be a film.’ I was attracted to that idea of something banal and routine not being what it seems, that sense of the macabre in the everyday. It had everything a short horror film needs – 1 location, 2 people in a room, rising tension, a visceral payoff – and importantly that most universal of fears. I felt the film could have resonance with the 99.9% of the global population that dislikes going to the dentist. I’m in the 0.1% that enjoys dental appointments – I guess that was also a factor in my making the film.
“In the adaptation I took inspiration and advice from my screenwriting tutor Philip Parker and the original author, and wonderful supporter of the film, Christopher Fowler. The advice to keep it simple and within a tight structure that meant a short (4 day) shooting schedule is something that can save a lot of heartache for first time writers/directors. Chris gave my early draft of the script the thumbs up but suggested I remove some flashbacks I’d added to reveal something of Dr. Matthew’s backstory. The more enigmatic he is as a character, the more potentially memorable and impactful he is. When directing, I was so grateful for that advice.”
There you have it, folks, from the man himself. I’m a sucker for backstory, so this was sweet to hear. Personally, I’d love to see what else Lee can do with other normal situations (there’s an entire beauty industry out there if you’re reading, Frazer…).
Hope you enjoy this one. Happy Saturday, and a very blessed Samhain to all of the pagans out there.