Directed by: Kyra E. Lukas and Patrick Marcel Benito
Starring: Jonny Richard, Kyra E. Lukas, Patrick Marcel Benito, Marcel Zuber, Axel Schmidt-Basler and Xenia Celine Jones
Short Film Review by: Niall Maggs
Her Hunter’s Tale is a 16-minute short film set in a fantastical medieval period directed by Kyra E. Lukas and Patrick Marcel Benito. It tells the ambiguous story of Kiaran (Jonny Richard) and Erikir (Marcel Zuber), two knights who engage in a bloody battle, while also having mysterious and unexplained flashbacks of their past journey. There is also the inclusion of a priestess – played solidly by Kyra E. Lukas – which adds a bit of emotion and romance into the whole situation. What we now have is a reasonably solid, but flawed, tale of violence, betrayal and religion.
What impressed me most about Her Hunter’s Tale is the effective cinematography conducted by a large list of people. The choice of camera movement is basic, but the grimy colour palette and choice of lighting really creates an immersive experience, and a dark, eerie tone. The use of shadow also builds quite an unsettling and uncomfortable mood, which really works with the genre. Plus, the decision to include fantasy elements makes the whole crimson-like tint work really well.
The fight choreography by Benito is terrific, and the action scenes are directed reasonably well. The actors who are in these action scenes do a solid job, and make the sequences work greatly with style and talent. If more of the film was dedicated to action, then it would work much better – but unfortunately the weak and confusing plot just feels wasted and rushed. If the writers focused more on the quality of the story – rather than the unrealism – then the short film would have great action and an intriguing story to accompany it.
The script has less than several lines, which means there’s no support for the story… which also means I’m left puzzled and confused. The only reason I know the plot was because it was in the description box, so the writers should focus on trying to include more elements of the story into the visual and verbal aspects of the film. Because if not, then you will be dealing with many unhappy audience members.
The short would also work better if the filmmakers included a medieval-themed score to emphasise the tone and mood. This would also add a subtle touch to the film.
Overall, I was impressed with Her Hunter’s Tale. The visual aspects of the film are terrific and the acting is quite decent – but unfortunately the film suffers greatly due to an unpolished script and a much-too-confusing story.