A man, haunted by the sound of bells, suddenly loses his hearing.
The Bells gives us an interesting concept reminiscent of films like Hush and Dead Silence where the films plays with the character’s (and our) hearing.
Let’s start with the good stuff. First of all, I really enjoyed the special effects makeup. I’m not sure what budget this film was done on but I always appreciate some non-CGI effects which, rather than giving films a cheap quality, almost always make things seem more real.
With films like this, however, the score becomes almost more important than the visuals. At times The Bells makes good use of this by playing only a high-pitched drone giving the effect of tinnitus. From my personal experience of watching this film, this is particularly effective if you have earphones in and the volume turned way up! However, this could have been used to even more effect as, on occasion the film slips into a fairly generic horror score – no bad thing but I would have liked a little more experimentalism.
While I really enjoy the first half of this short, the second half leaves me with too many questions. This is very different to me being left eerily intrigued – I’m just not sure I get it.
There is little to hint at why this might be happening, metaphorically or not. I wonder if I’m missing some sort of church bell related myth here… Perhaps not seeing anything at all at the end might have been scarier. With that said, regardless of plot, our main protagonist is very convincing and this film is definitely worth a watch yourselves to see what you can take away from it.