Directed by: Olivia Parkinson and Alexander Nijhoff
Starring: Michael Oku, Laura Brailsford, Jason Imlach, Blu Hardy, Heather Carter-Drake, Freddie Merrydown, Charlotte Rose-Hulme, and Georgina Hall
Short Film Review by: Niall Maggs
Party Animal is a short film written by Olivia Parkinson, and directed by herself and Alexander Nijhoff, which tells the brief but utterly hilarious experience of Finley (Michael Oku) meeting his in-laws for the first time. This experience takes a turn for the worst when he, by accident, kills the family dog. For the rest of the duration we see Fin trying to find a way around it while also providing some great laughs for the audience.
First of all, the acting is solid, especially from Oku who gives a quality performance as the lead character. He’s funny and awkward – and clearly has a great taste in music suggested by his t-shirt! The acting from the rest of the cast is also pretty good, however due to the brief runtime of just 8 minutes, we don’t get to see much of the other characters, but when they’re on screen they make their presence known due to their effective acting.
The directing by both Parkinson and Nijhoff is impressive. The storytelling is exciting and intriguing, and when paired with Parkinson’s hysterical script, the short film becomes a superb comedy containing a commentary on real life problems, such as meeting your partner’s parents for the first time. The way the directors handle this is exceptional.
The film would be much better off with a score to emphasise the suspense of certain scenes. There is hardly any music involved which may not be a bad thing, but it would definitely improve the film as it creates more tension and emotion. However, this short is a brilliant and exciting comedy, with a comical script and great actors to accompany it. Party Animal would be even better if the runtime was longer, it’s just simply too short to be able to pick out many flaws. But in the end, Party Animal is absolutely hilarious.