FrightFest Previews – ‘Dissociative’ Review – a short film by Damon Rickard

This third short from The Tour and The Package director Damon Rickard is without question a leaner, grittier proposition than his earlier work. Telling its story of a man plagued with paranoia about a suspected infidelity in a mere five minutes, Dissociative‘s punchy, chilling depiction of psychological unravelling hits hard and fast.

Having collaborated with Rickard on both The Tour and The Package, Tom Gordon gives his most assured performance for the director to date as he returns as Frank, a man burdened with his fears that his wife Sue (Amanda Hunt) is being unfaithful. As he deliberates over how to proceed, the film’s runtime makes it difficult to discuss much more in the way of plot here without giving too much away. What’s more important to note here, though, is that the film feels like a sharp stylistic change for Rickard, and one that suits him well.

While there’s no great mystery in the film’s payoff, it’s debatable whether that kind of suspense was ever really the goal here. What feels like an inevitability of outcome is offset by convincing performances, a simmering, ominous score and enough in the way of visual innovation to show a growing versatility from the director. The film itself is solid, but what it does excel at is stoking your curiosity as to what he’ll do next.

3.5/5

Dissociative gets its World Premiere during the Short Film Showcases at this year’s FrightFest on Monday August 29th at 12.30pm in Discovery Screen 1. You can see a full lineup of shorts and find tickets http://www.frightfest.co.uk/2016films/29th-august—discovery-1.html#discovery1monday1

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