Written & Directed by Conscian Morgan
Starring Michael Hanratty, Natalie Oliver
Not Rated | 20 Minutes
NY Premiere: November 10, 2016 (NYC Horror Film Festival)
Immure does in 20 minutes what most horror films wish they can do in 90 minutes. Written and directed by Conscian Morgan, Immure screened at the NYC Horror Film Festival (NYCHFF) on Thursday night and received loud applause from the audience.
“Immure” means to confine or enclose someone against their will. By the film’s end, you will question who truly is the one being confined. Morgan manages to evoke empathy for multiple characters, and bring real fear and tension, all in a shortened run time. It’s not just a great short film, it’s a great film overall.
Eugene (Michael Hanratty) is shy and reserved. His next door neighbor, Mary (Natalie Oliver), is pretty and there is an obvious connection. She invites him out, but he has to take care of his sick mother. They sit down for a steak dinner, but she’s behind a locked door, lit by UV light. She growls and bangs, then calmly and elegantly plays piano. She remains unseen. In another scene, Eugene lures a dog from the apartment complex towards his mom’s room. Eugene is not a bad guy and you can see and feel the strain “caring for” mother is taking. The toll is mental and physical.
Mary, on the other hand, has her own issues. She is constantly being screamed at by her parents and every time she is outside and away from them, she looks completely relieved. One night these things converge when she bangs on his door looking for refuge. Reluctantly he lets her in and they share a fleeting moment of intimacy. As he sleeps, she wakes and the lure of mother’s room is too much. We find out what he’s been hiding and the results of this encounter solve old problems and create all new ones. The final scene, which I will not spoil, is one of my favorites in recent memory.
There are some short films that you watch and wonder what the film would be like if there was more. Immure is perfect the way it is, snuggled into a cozy twenty minutes. During Immure, you empathize with these characters and they’re totally identifiable as real people facing a crazy otherworldly situation. It is scary and emotional, and a terrific film. I cannot wait to see what Conscian Morgan does in the future. According to Morgan, they are looking into VOD options and are hoping for an early 2017 release. When it becomes available, I will let everyone know.
The NYC Horror Film Festival lasts through Sunday, November 13th and is at the Cinepolis Chelsea, located at 260 West 23rd Street in Manhattan. Tickets and film schedule are available at their website, nychorrorfest.com