Every day during October, the Department of Tangents presents a different short film for the Daily Horror Film Fest. It can be flat-out scary, funny horror, or maybe even a little cagey. Today’s entry comes from the archives of Screamfest, which will be kicking off the 2018 edition on October 9 in Los Angeles. Look for a couple of more Screamfest films on the DHFF later in the month.
This one is called The Bridge Partner, written and directed by Gabriel Olson based on the short story by Peter S. Beagle. That’s right. It’s about bridge. The card game. Played in old folks homes, right? Harmless. Well, definitely not in this case.
Mattie is not a great bridge player, which is probably why, at the outset of the film, no one in her club wants to be her partner. But she’s in luck, because the last person to arrive at the game is the glamorous Olivia. It seems like a fortuitous match for Mattie at first. Olivia is patient and kind as a player. But that turns quickly.
Beth Grant (Jericho, Pushing Daisies) plays Mattie and Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue, Dynasty) plays Olivia, and they are fun to watch together. Lawrence is elegant and cutthroat, and Mattie is mousy and deferential, and their dynamic drives the film, right up to a wonderful little twist. It’s easy to see why this one racked up so many awards on the festival circuit.