12KM: A short that we need more

12KM is now available only if you write to the director on his Instagram your 3 favorite horror films.

Set against a backdrop of 1980s Russia, a team of scientists and their drill crew have dug the deepest hole known to man. Dredged from the abyss is an entity that brings them face to face with their most terrifying fears.



To begin with, this film was released in several festivals during 2016, but is now years later only available to a few people chosen by the director on his Instagram. You must write your top 3 favorite horror films to him so that he can send you a link leading to the short film. This way of releasing the film is a bit strange but according to the director’s words I agree with him, because as we have to work to see the film we appreciate it better. This gives an effect as if we have earned the right to see the production.

The film offers us an extremely interesting photographic direction with its shadows and the warm colors that compose it. The cinematographic direction quickly takes us into the dark corner of the workers in Russia, where the whole story takes place. The images are in themselves a real character which greatly composes the story.

Mike Pecci’s production is nicely designed to show us as little as possible and for create the oppressive atmosphere so often sought after in horror films. The bottomless pit is thus an expanse of shadows with disturbing sounds that make us fear them even more than if the threat had actually been visible on the screen.

The acting is good to make this nightmare story natural. The actors are able to deliver a few jokes included in the script to relax the sinister atmosphere at the right time.

Where the film’s weakness lies is that we need more explanation for the last ten minutes of the film. The story takes a turn without explanation where we find one of the characters in an empty place and completely naked. The explanation seems to be intended by the director to be a choice intended for each of us. On the other hand, we have very few clues during this sequence of the film to take us towards a satisfying conclusion. The scenario seems to be, in such a short time shown on screen, rich enough to continue the story in a feature film which could offer us the ending that the production deserves.

12 KM will consolidate itself as a satisfying creative and visual proposition for a horror short film. Mike Pecci uses the camera talentedly, offering us contrasts of sound and color across an oppressive setting. Could this be a metaphor for the fear of hearing the voice from within dictating our actions? Could this be a metaphor for the fear of facing your own demons and discovering who you are and who you have been? Ultimately, it’s a joy to see the way the director/writer weaves this story, undoubtedly taken from one of his many nightmares.

Overall grade: 4/5 stars

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