Short Film Review: Forever

As a barrier to film making, budget is often the one cited with a regularity that borders on inevitable. And for good reason; without the right backing, your dream project may never be fully realised as you had envisaged and instead you find yourself forced to downscale those plans and plots until nothing of that original spark remains. However, the gap between ambition and budget seems to be reduced year on year with the technological advance the world has been marching on throughout the last decade, with even the greats like Soderberg using basic equipment (an iPhone7 Plus) to create some remarkable footage in his 2018 film Unsane.

Behind the scenes shot from Jack Berry's short film Forever.

And so, it is a real treat to see young British talent like Jack Berry following suit. Filmed entirely on a Huawei P30, his horror short Forever is a dark, twisted tale of a young woman who has recently escaped an abusive, dangerous relationship. Convinced that her ex-partner is still stalking her every move, Sophie (Gwyneth Evans) is confronted with an impossibility that will terrify her to her core…

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Forever looks absurdly great for a short shot on practically no budget. Filmed entirely by Berry on his smartphone, the editing used to create some eerie scares is very impressive. Using the FILMIC Pro App to great effect, Berry has constructed something that looks better than some of the indie films that have come my way over the last three years working at The London Horror Society. The colour grading used to give the film a real cinematic feel really adds another layer to the professionalism of the short, and again illustrates to young filmmakers watching how much can be done with very little.

Still from Jack Berry's short film Forever.

The haunting score unobtrusively haunts the edges of the piece, adding a sinister feel to proceedings as it slowly builds to a screeching crescendo in the tradition of all great horror films.

Gwyneth Evans gives a good performance as Sophie, who hits all the right notes of desperation and fear as she is stalked across the film by the mysterious Adam, a figure always just out of focus or shot in lurid, obsessive shadow. Doubling as the film’s sound mixer, this adds to the idea that this was an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ type of production to produce the very best with what they had.   

Still from Jack Berry's short film Forever.

Much like another of Berry’s films, Fated, Forever is a clever tale that makes the most of a talented actress and the director’s keen eye. Young filmmakers take note; ambition is no longer as restrained by finance as once it was, and hopefully Berry’s film will inspire others to make the best work possible with the tools to hand. 

By: Hugh McStay

Watch Forever now on YouTube