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Home | Film Review: Zero (short film) (2014)

Film Review: Zero (short film) (2014)



A young mother must come to terms with letting go the thing she loves the most, her only son. She must do the deed herself for he is subject zero.


After their successful first short film debut with She’s Having A Baby!, the Smellin brothers (Chris and Robert) have followed up with another great little horror short. It’s gripping right from the very start and deals with the more emotional side of horror, which in many ways is a far more fascinating thing to explore. They’ve combined two strong, controversial themes together – zombies and euthanasia – which makes for a very interesting watch.

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In the case of this short film, the title Zero is a reference to the term Subject Zero, as in, the first person that indicates the existence of an outbreak. Hey, even a zombie outbreak has to start with that first person. The tragic story here revolves around a mother and son, and the horrors that they must face, separately and together. According to their ‘Gofundme’ page, Zero is ‘not your traditional horror film with lots of blood and guts, it’s a human story about a strong woman’s journey to do what is humain(sic). The horror stems from the situation the characters are in’. I’d say that’s a pretty accurate description, though there’s still a nice dose of blood and gore to keep people happy so don’t be put off.

I think the ending of this one really picks up from a slightly sagging middle section, and leaves us with a cheeky little cliffhanger. Being just about fifteen minutes long means that nothing sags for long, and these scenes are still heavy with emotion and tension. The music was top notch though, it was shot well, and the posters look perfectly edgy. They give just a tiny hint about what’s in-store for the viewers, but not giving away too much. A faded, cracked visual is used, as well as a gas masked figure, highlighting the disease and quarantine and loneliness which inevitably takes place during a ‘zombie’ outbreak.

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Therefore it should come as no surprise that Zero has been played at film festivals all around the world – literally! And they even have a Gofundme page which asks people to help contribute fees towards getting as many people to see it as possible. It is still up and running now if any of you reading this gets tempted to help these two talented gentlemen out. Upon watching their first two short films, you’d probably agree that there’s no doubt that they’re in this industry to stay. And I’d certainly recommend sticking around for the ride.

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