Directed by Heather Taylor
Synopsis: Courtesy of Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
Losing a parent is hard. But for one traumatized woman, opening up to her sister about that loss is even harder—until she gets creative.
Stitched opens up on a dainty house in cookie-cutter suburbia. Old timey music fills the screen as we cut to inside the house, in the kitchen as a young woman fills two tea cups with water from a kettle. This opening is deliberate and demonstrably misleading. As the short film’s main character Melinda, played eerily by Deborah Green (2012’s Desperate Endeavors), delivers an unnerving monolog, viewers quickly cue into the tense atmosphere.
The short begins in media res, with audiences being thrown right into what seems like an overwhelmingly awkward interaction. Through the dialogue, we pick up pieces of information here and there: a strangely quiet sister, played by Jen L. Burry (2015’s Alienated), a recent funeral, and some pretty overt resentment on Melinda’s part, even if she is all smiles and laughs. The camerawork, led by cinematographer Kyle I. Kelley, consists of one fabulous long tracking shot and helps incredibly with building the short’s suspense as Melinda slowly unravels.
The twist, or reveal, at the end, wasn’t entirely surprising, but if that’s all you’re looking for, I would recommend re-watching some old M. Night Shyamalan flicks. Stitched delivers a whole lot more with its excellent pacing and unsettling acting. The short shows how far some individuals will go to feel heard in the wake of trauma and grief.
Even though the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival has closed, you can still keep up with the film here and stay up to date on Heather Taylor’s other work on her website. Follow her company, Red and Black Productions, for other opportunities to catch Stitched.
7 out of 10 Splats of Blood