Oh, Crypt TV. You are a thing of wonders. I was rummaging around this week and by complete accident, found a gem from the writing/directing team of Ben Frnaklin and Anthony Melton. It’s an under-five-minutes film called The Birch, and it deals with a bullied boy that needs some backup. If you’ve had some bad bullying experiences, I’m not sure if you’ll want to skip this one. It’s horror if that helps at all.
Cliff Wallace did the creature effects, and fuck me did I love this creature. We don’t often get good creatures anymore, and I sorely wish that we did because that’s half the fun of something supernatural. There are some times when it’s a good thing to imagine the monster yourself, and there are times when it’s equally fun to watch a crafted story unfold in front of you. Frankly, I thought that the creature was a good fit for the plot. Really, whose heart didn’t break for the unnamed bullied boy? Actor Charlie Venables did SUCH a good job as the tortured kid. If you’ve ever experienced bullying or have witnessed it, you recognize that sad look, that feeling of the world crashing down; it’s a true horror of our world. That the grandmother character is the one that offers the solution is quite good as well – after all, she explains that she was helped by a spirit of the forest, which implies that everything you need is in the world around you. In the end, there’s always a guardian, even if she doesn’t look like a fairy godmother from a Disney film. It’s oddly comforting.
And with that, happy Saturday.