The Armoire Film Review by Zobo With A Shotgun
The Armoire is a simple story, one that doesn’t exhibit any fancy flairs or over-the-top effects, yet what it delivers is something far more bone-chilling and unsettling. The short horror film from co-writer and director Evan Cooper, recently had its premiere at Shriekfest and was received well, which is no surprise as this little short left me feeling anxious about purchasing a new wardrobe from Ikea.
As another fame-seeker in the hills of Hollywood, a young woman has just moved to the area and although struggling, is making the most of her new adventure. With an apartment secured by her doting mother, she sets out to furnish the place to give it a more homely feel. She stumbles upon a beautiful antique looking wardrobe in the middle of a deserted car-park and quickly claims it for herself. What she soon realises is there was clearly a reason behind the abandonment, when it seems she is no longer alone in her apartment.
For me, horror is often the most terrifying when the writer is able to take an unsuspecting and simple everyday object and turn it into an object of fear for the protagonist and the audience. By implicating inanimate objects that we interact with each day, it’s a minimal way to inject dread and nervousness into the audience and make them recall why they feel that way. The Armoire does this perfectly by taking something we give no second thought to and suddenly making it the focal point of all our nightmares; a wardrobe becomes the natural habitat for a malicious spirit that not only terrorises the owner of said wardrobe, but also leaves them with some form of flesh-eating disease that slowly eradicates their life.
Cinematography, sound design and casting are all very well presented in this short horror, which is always a must-have, even more so when it comes to the independent scene. With so many short horror films on the radar, you really need to ensure that at the very least it looks and sounds good to get the audience to engage. Another simple yet effective aspect of The Armoire that truly sent shivers down my spine was the spirit that is causing chaos and terror for our protagonist. Although we never really see what the monster in the shadows is, there is one scene where we see the outline of what looks like a slightly deformed and crippled humanoid type spirit which rushes past the doorway as a shadow. My immediate thought was of the dancing man in the first Insidious film, and that’s the type of spirit that scares the shit out of me.
If you’re looking for a little slice of terror this year, then make sure to watch The Armoire when and wherever you can!