There are films that you can put into a category instantly, whether it is a romantic, thriller, horror or sci-fi film but there are times when it is hard to tell. All these Creatures from director Charles Williams (Homebodies, Home) is one of those movies because it can be a short drama film, a fiction film or even a fantasy short film. One thing is for sure though, it will leave you wondering about our existence, about our place in society and about the meaning of life.
This mysterious and dark short film is about Tempest (Yared Scott), a young teenager living with his parents while attending school and playing with friends. At first sight, everything seems normal but when you take a closer look, you will see some obscure secrets. His father (Mandela Mathia) sadly isn’t what he seems to be. One minute, he can be very caring, loving and passionate and a minute later he can be brutal, violent and unhinged. This doesn’t only have an impact on Tempest but also on his mother (Helen Hailu) who is emotionally drowning in grief, sadness, and confusion. And what about all the creatures in his backyard? What are they telling him about his father and what does the future hold for him?
After watching William’s latest work, we can definitely understand why it won the Palme D’or for shorts film during this years’ Film Festival de Cannes. It has a very cryptic, secretive and mystical vibe and that is one of the reasons why it is so captivating from start to finish. It’s not every day you see a movie about a boy struggling not only with his own life but also with the lives of his family members, all whilst trying to figuring out what the creatures in his backyard are telling him.
The amazing cinematography and music help to reveal the biggest part of this movie in the most outstanding way. The cinematography mainly contains shady brown and dimmed colours that, without a doubt, represent the earthy aspect of his movie as well as the dark and mysterious storyline, the secrets, the doubt, and fear both Tempest and his family are struggling with. Also, the mystifying and mystical music contributes to the dark and gloomy film. Something else that is intriguing about this movie is the way in which the story is being told. The voice-over from Melchisedek Nkailu breaks down the wall between the film and the viewer as he wants us to know about this painful and fascinating story.
All these Creatures is a very emotional story full of pain, sadness and confusing but there’s also a place for love, friendship, and family. In a film like this where music, emotions, and cinematography are much more important than action and dialogue, the acting performances are even more crucial. Newcomer Yared Scott is incredibly captivating as he perfectly portrays the emotions of confusion, the distress, and pain. Together with the off-screen voice from Nkailu, you can feel every emotion running through his mind and body. From happy to sad, crazy to mental, Mathia portrays it all as the father and man whose life is sadly one that no one should have to live. The female powerful emotions are being brought to All These Creatures by the wonderful and fabulous Helen Hailu (Changes, A Few Less Men) as a vulnerable mother and wife.
All These Creatures will be screening at the Raindance Film Festival this year and if you have the chance to watch it, you should go and check it out. This mesmerizing, dark and exciting short film with incredibly fascinating acting performances will grip your attention for the full 13 minutes it lasts. We would have loved to see it last much longer.
Liselotte Vanophem, Film and Celebrity Reporter – Just Celebrity Magazine