A woman’s psyche is explored as she is pushed beyond the limits of sanity in this critically acclaimed horror/thriller short film from Luana Di Pasquale.
As someone who isn’t a big horror fan, I was worried going into this film that I wouldn’t enjoy it to be able to give it my full attention. I was surprised that I did enjoy it and haven’t left it feeling like I’ll have nightmares tonight. Instead of being a typical horror with jump scares and ghosts, I’d say it’s more of a thriller in the way it dives into the thoughts and feelings of someone.
Keeping us on edge in a nightmarish landscape, we join Mum on her confusing journey. Played by Nadira Murray, she really does a brilliant job at pushing out so many emotions, to let us know how she’s feeling and coping. With not a lot of dialogue, the body language is key in telling us the story, and Murray really goes head on into the role to let us see some of the mental torment that so many people in bad relationships go through. Reading into the film, we see how it’s release comes at an interesting time against the pandemic and lockdown, with domestic violence reports awfully increasing as people are spending more time at home with their partners.
Keep Mum is inspired by personal tragedy, a short pilot for the debut feature from Luana Di Pasquale. To know that the topic of violence in the home and relationships is a really important one to them, really lets us know that even though these films can be seen as arthouse horrors, thought and detail has been out into them. I don’t know when we’ll get the feature, but based on this short, I’m really intrigued to see this sort of topic explored more in a way that lets us begin to understand what someone may be going through.
A large section of the story focuses on Danny who is the young son of the main character, and funnily enough, he is played by Cameron Murray who is the son of Nadira Murray. To see a real-life mother and son portraying this real pair is a true wonder. It must’ve been tough to work on the upsetting scenes and emotions, but you can see that work truly paid off with the outcome. Cameron may be young, but we can see his thought process and understanding, really adding to the heart-breaking feel.
One thing that we can’t escape from in this film is the sound and music. What we hear, in my opinion, really adds to this sort of film genre and creates the intensity when the character cannot. From a saddening heartbeat to dramatic rock music, we really go through a journey of feelings with both sight and sound in this short film, for both entertainment purposes, but to also show how people do live with a constant battle of their senses.
Keep Mum has won so many awards, and you can really see why. Whether you pick this film to see what the fuss is all about, or take the time to learn and understand the story behind it, it really is one to remember.