Pediophobia. noun. a fear of dolls (including Mannequins). It is a real thing, and it is a little-known fact that I have it. To that end, part of me was thinking about passing this particular title on to my colleague Chris to review, but hell, curiosity got the better of me.

‘Mannequin’ a short film from duo Dante Aubain and Danny Summonte, who incidentally both wrote, directed and starred in the film, is a brisk montage of tension building cumulating in a number of chilling set pieces.

The synopsis: On a seemingly ordinary day, a mysterious package arrives on a young man’s doorstep.

Needless to say, what is inside the package emerges as the threat: a seriously creepy mannequin head. It’s not until a chilling phone call with a relative that you realise you don’t have to have the aforementioned phobia to have good reason to be afraid of this one!

The short film, clocking in at around 10 minutes is a well shot and entertaining piece of taught modern horror. Wearing its influences on its sleeve, with blatant nods towards modern horrors (its antagonist in-particular borrows heavily from the stylisation of Dianna from ‘Lights Out’), ‘Mannequin’ has a polished ‘high definition’ feel, which is well in keeping with today’s horror cinema trends. If I was truly critiquing I would say that, because of these similarities, the film struggles to develop its own identity, but still, for a 10-minute film I could be accused of nit-picking.

Technically the film is impressive – especially considering the films microbudget and crew of 2, with a sleek editing and some fantastic use of space and lighting it punches well above its weight in this respect, however, where I was most impressed is its ability to deliver a good couple of jolts in its spartan run time.

It’s not outrageously scary and once the final jolt is out of the way you aren’t left with any lingering dread, but for sheer entertainment value it’s hard to fault. It got me a couple of times, and got me good!  If you are one of the lucky ones who is immune to jump scares then it probably won’t do much for you, but if your nerves are more typical, probably best to put down your drink for 10 mins!

Overall, little more to say than thankyou to Dante for getting in touch, and good luck with ‘Mannequin’. Be interesting to see what DND Creations will be doing next.

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