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Home | Film Review: Recompence (short film) (2010)

Film Review: Recompence (short film) (2010)



A girl wakes up in the middle of the woods with no memory of what has happened prior to that. She is injured and confused when she starts seeing a shape, or figure, that is following her.


Shot in black and white this 27 minute dialog-less somber haunting piece explores the art of contrast and shadows. Stark whites and deep blacks provide a colder and more focused visual that intentionally draws attention to its well presented piece and a care for drama spoken thru basic imagery.

An injured woman crawls from a brush slowly making her way out of its mess of leaves and branches. Her bruised body contemplates the events leading up to her displaced state.

An enigmatic figure watches over her as she attempts to free herself from the task of being left alone in the woods. Shots disorientate using unbalanced positioning to upside down edits. Our focal actress limps thru the forest making her way to an X-marks-the-spot destination. This odd journey seems to be about confronting death and accepting its terms of transition. Artful and slightly religious feeling, this is the tone of “Recompence“.

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Recompence” does offer its share of extreme gore that is quickly transformed into artful black and white suggestions than anything that might offend. This is purposely presented in the same way that E. Elias Merhige’s “Begotten” was, by letting the colorless ambience take over.

We tend to forget about the piece being a basic storyline and rather become consumed by its style.

Forest imagery becomes “almost” graphic-pen looking as its edited footage abandons most grayscale levels for its visuals. The result is quite interesting to look at as our action crosses over against its contrasted segments. Actress Mariette Lilja who offers herself in body and soul to this strange figure becomes a symbol of beauty rather than the image of a blood soaked battered woman who we might interpret if this film was presented in color.

Ronny Carlsson of Film Bizarro productions obviously intended to shoot something dramatic and stark. The result was his piece “Recompence” which shows his love for the art of composition and filmmaking. The bonus here is a very appropriate music score to hold it all together resulting in a remarkable piece that deserves the merit it garners.

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