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 something that forces you to use your imagination. That’s the case with today’s entry, Cold Feet, written, directed, and edited by Faisal Hashmi for the 48 Hour Film Project Dubai in 2013. It was also filmed in Murdoch University in Dubai.
As happens in many of these short films, this one depends on a twist that would be very easy to spoil, so I have to be vague in my praise. I like the way the premise builds in this one. I didn’t think about what the image on the first paper might mean until I saw the second paper. That made it easy to guess what was coming next, but that was with just a minute left in the film, so it didn’t bother me.
Your imagination comes into play at the end, when a pattern emerges, and the viewer is left with a question or two. It a feature film were to end this way, it might be upsetting, to have put so much time into something and have it leave off just short of an explanation. But that’s part of the appeal of the short form. They can leave you asking yourself what the hell you just saw, and in a horror short, that can be the point. A more definitive ending might have been less satisfying. It’s the same reason why old horror films had to be about something more than the monster – the reveal is always a little disappointing.