Horror House Media‘s new five-minute short Stalk took me by surprise. At first, I believed I was watching an homage to John Carpenter’s 1978 masterpiece Halloween. Written by Brantley J. Brown and directed by Michael Coulombe, Stalk is a mostly point-of-view piece in which a weapon-wielding, mask-wearing killer is following his next victim. The music, point of view, and stalking tactics of the killer very much evoke Carpenter’s breakthrough film.
There’s a twist that I shall not reveal here that wildly differentiates Stalk from Halloween. I can guarantee that most viewers will not be expecting it. My only issue with it is that it seems to come from nowhere. A good plot twist is often unexpected, but becomes obvious after the viewer experiences it. In other words, the previous scenes that lead up to a twist should drop hints at what’s coming. In Stalk, the hint appears to come in the form of a flyer that is posted on a utility pole. However, it is not obviously connected to the twist at the end, so the viewer cannot be certain that it is in fact related to the twist.
Stalk is a polished piece, masterfully produced and directed. It stars Candice Callins as Michele Reynolds, Tyler Gallant as the masked killer, and Kara Schaaf as Vanessa. Viewers will be immediately interested in what’s happening after the title disappears.